Canucks sign 20-year-old free agent defenceman Mitch Eliot

Dec 14 2018, 10:59 pm

The Vancouver Canucks picked up a new player Friday afternoon.

GM Jim Benning announced that the team has signed undrafted 20-year-old defenceman Mitch Eliot to a three-year entry-level contract.

A right-shot rearguard, Eliot served as captain of Team USA at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Tournament before beginning his NCAA career.

A native Grosse Pointe, Michigan (a suburb of Detroit), Eliot switched course midway through his development. Playing just two seasons at Michigan State University, Eliot left school for the OHL’s Sarnia Sting in February.

After scoring just eight points in 61 college games, the 6-foot, 190-pound blueliner has filled the stat sheet this season. As an over-age player in junior, Eliot has 28 points (7-21-28) in 32 games, good for fifth in scoring among OHL defencemen.

Here’s the scouting report, courtesy of EliteProspects.com:

A physical two-way defenceman that plays a structured competitive game. Smooth skating compliments his ability to control the puck at higher speeds. Displays a pretty hard shot and crisp tape-to-tape passing ability, but is actually relied on more in the defensive zone. Battles very hard for puck possession and sees the game in lanes. Very strong positionally and is poised in his own end. As he continues to grow, he will become a more well-rounded defenceman with each game, as he recognizes and learns from his mistakes. Can play long shifts.

Elliot is the son of former pro goaltender Darren Eliot, who played 89 games in the NHL and represented Canada at the Olympics in the 1980s.

The young defenceman will turn pro next season, most likely with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate in Utica.