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Canucks GM Jim Benning doesn’t regret trading Gustav Forsling to Blackhawks

Adam Clendening for Gustav Forsling.

That was the trade. A simple one-for-one deal made in January 2015 between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks.

At the time, Clendening was 22 and Forsling was just 18.

Today, Clendening is with his fourth team – the New York Rangers – since being traded to Vancouver. He was dealt to Pittsburgh then traded to Anaheim before being placed on waivers and claimed by Edmonton. Meanwhile, Forsling has risen from a promising young Swedish defenseman to a starter on the Hawks’ blue line.

Does Canucks general manager Jim Benning regret the trade?

“Well, no, I drafted him, I saw him lots in his draft year. I knew he was a good player,” Benning said Thursday on TSN 1040 radio. “He’s a skilled player and he’s got an excellent shot.

“You know, where we were at when we made the deal, our guys believed in Adam Clendening and so we made the deal to give him a chance. That didn’t work out, but I move on. We’ve got Troy Stecher, and that’s a similar type player. He’s going to be a real good player for us moving forward.”

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman certainly likes how the now 20-year blue liner has developed for Chicago.

“I’m happy for him, obviously. He’s come a long way in a short amount of time,” Bowman told CSN Chicago. “I’m impressed with his poise and his composure. He doesn’t play like a 20-year-old defenseman. A lot of times those guys are nervous and even within a game if he has a tough shift I don’t think it phases him. He doesn’t get rattled which I think is the hardest thing for young players, especially defensemen. It’s only been a short sample here but I like the way he’s been resilient and I think he’s got a lot of growth to his game so being around our players and around our coaches I think is going to pay off as the year goes on.”

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