The Vancouver Canucks have signed their first round draft pick from this year’s draft, inking defenceman Olli Juolevi to a three-year entry-level contract.
“Olli is a talented all-around defenceman with high hockey sense who will be a big part of our organization’s future,” said Jim Benning in a media release. “He’s had an outstanding year, winning the Memorial Cup and World Junior gold. We look forward to seeing him continue his development and compete at the NHL level during training camp in September.”
The 6-foot-3 defenceman from Helsinki, Finland was the fifth overall selection by the Canucks in the NHL Draft in June.
Juolevi took a little longer to sign than some of his peers at the top of the draft, but in the end the deal got done and that’s all that matters. Well, that, and how much money he’ll earn in rookie performance bonuses.
— General Fanager (@generalfanager) August 5, 2016
After Juolevi’s salary, signing bonuses, and performance bonuses are calculated, he’ll carry a $1.975 million cap hit.
Winning a Memorial Cup with the London Knights last season, Juolevi put up 42 points (9-33-42) during the regular season and another 14 (3-11-14) in the playoffs.
He may not be touted as a future Norris Trophy winner, but he’s clearly the best defenceman prospect the Canucks have.
Juolevi’s contract will kick in once he plays 10 games in the NHL, likely in 2017 or 2018.
He’s pencilled in to go back to junior next season, but could change the minds of management with an amazing preseason. We’ll get our first look at Juolevi at the Young Stars tournament next month in Penticton.