VANCOUVER -- J.T. Miller was traded to the Vancouver Canucks by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday for goalie Marek Mazanec, a third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and a conditional first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
If the Canucks do not make the playoffs next season, the first-round selection will be in the 2021 NHL Draft.
"It's exciting. He kind of fits into what we are trying to do here," Vancouver coach Travis Green said. "He's relatively young when it comes to hockey. He's a skilled guy, he's got a little bite in his game, which we like. You watch [Stanley Cup] Playoff hockey now and you have to have some compete in your game, and I'm excited about the move."
Miller had 47 points (13 goals, 34 assists) in 75 regular-season games and two assists in four playoff games for the Lightning this season.
The 26-year-old forward has four seasons remaining on a five-year, $26.25 million contract ($5.25 million average annual value) he signed with Tampa Bay on June 26, 2018.
"He's on a good contract, we got him for four more years at a good number," Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. "We had to move a third-round pick in this year's draft, but I think it's going to help with the development of our kids and help them get to where they need to be, and it's going to improve our team for next season.
"If we don't make the playoffs next year we are protected, we have lottery protection, and if we do make the playoffs it just speeds up the process of where we are at in our rebuild and pushes it a little bit further ahead for us."
Selected by the New York Rangers in the first round (No. 15) in the 2011 NHL Draft, Miller has 237 points (95 goals, 142 assists) in 435 regular-season games and 26 points (three goals, 23 assists) in 61 playoff games.
"We've been looking for someone we can play with [Elias] Pettersson and [Brock] Boeser." Green said.
Mazanec, who was selected by the Nashville Predators in the sixth round (No. 179) in the 2012 NHL Draft, is 8-13-4 with a 2.98 goals-against average, a .895 save percentage and two shutouts in 31 NHL games (25 starts). He has not played in the NHL since Dec. 8, 2016.
Benning believes it was important to add a young player with experience to the Canucks lineup.
"He's got skill, so he's a guy that we feel is really going to help make the team better and help with the development of our young players," Benning said. "He's a top-six forward for us, he's still a 26-year-old player, he's had 50 points in the League. I think he's going to be a good fit for us."
Benning said the focus during free agency this week will be to add a top-four defenseman. He said he was never close to doing that at the NHL Draft.
"That's where our focus is all week. We had lots of conversations, but the prices were too high to add a D right now," he said.
The Canucks said forward Vasily Podkolzin, selected with the No. 10 pick at the draft Friday, won't be at development camp this week. He requires special permission from the NHL through the Russian Federation because he plays in the Kontinental Hockey League and couldn't get it in time.
NHL.com correspondent Kevin Woodley contributed to this report
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