Canucks trade ’13 first-rounder Shinkaruk to Flames for Granlund

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A rather curious move between two struggling Pacific Division clubs on Monday, as the Canucks sent former first-round pick Hunter Shinkaruk to Calgary in exchange for forward Markus Granlund.

Granlund, 22, has a far more extensive NHL resume, with 86 games to his credit compared to Shinkaruk’s one. That said, Shinkaruk would appear — at least at first glace — to have more upside, given he only turned 21 in October, is a former first-round pick (24th overall, ’13) and has been very good in the American League this year, with 21 goals in 45 games.

Shinkaruk was also named to this year’s AHL All-Star Classic.

In Granlund, the Canucks get a center with four goals and seven points in 31 games this year. He’s been a healthy scratch on a few occasions by head coach Bob Hartley, and has also spent time with Calgary’s AHL affiliate in Stockton.

Upon being recalled in December, Granlund won the praise of Flames head coach Bob Hartley.

“If we look at his entire game, he’s strong, he’s solid defensively, he’s moving the puck well, he’s skating, and this guy can shoot the puck,” Hartley said, per the Herald. “He’s been big for us.”

Contractually, this trade is pretty interesting.

Granlund’s a pending RFA, in the final year of his entry-level deal. Shinkaruk, meanwhile, is in the first of his three-year ELC and is under contract through 2018.

The deal also brings Shinkaruk back to his hometown of Calgary.