The Vancouver Canucks have a new prospect.
Canucks GM Patrik Allvin has signed undrafted junior star Arshdeep Bains to a new entry-level contract.
The 21-year-old Surrey native is currently tied for the WHL’s scoring lead, with 82 points (30-52-82) in 55 games. He’s the first player of South Asian descent to lead the WHL in points.
“I never really had too many hockey role models to look up to growing up, so if I can help South Asian kids get into the sport, that’s special to me,” Bains told Daily Hive last month.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) February 19, 2022
Though he is ripping up the WHL this season as an over-age player, Bains has posted impressive numbers in previous years with the Red Deer Rebels. The 6-foot-1, 184-pound left winger scored 21 points (8-13-21) in 23 games last season and had 51 points (18-33-51) in 63 games in 2019-20.
Expect Bains to start his pro career with the Abbotsford Canucks next season, where he’ll get an opportunity to work his way up to the NHL.
Hey that’s fun. Bains is a great story.
Walk-on kid in Red Deer, worked his way up the lineup, and was good in the bubble. Then pops offensively in 20-year old season and gets the contract from the hometown team.
Slight and skilled but he’s got some jam to his game too. https://t.co/LcYZeJls38
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) March 11, 2022
“Arshdeep is one of the most creative and talented players I have ever had the opportunity of coaching,” said Rob Evers, who coached Bains in major midget with the Valley West Hawks in 2017-18. “Arshdeep is the best power-play player I have ever coached in 20 years of coaching. His ability to create something out of nothing and find his teammates in open spots was so good.”
Red Deer has the WHL’s third-best power play percentage this season, with Bains scoring 11 goals and 24 assists on the man advantage.
Allvin had talked previously about his desire to sign free agents from junior, college, and Europe as a way to replenish the Canucks’ depleted prospect group.
“We need to find ways to get better every day and I’m sure our scouting staff will be up for the task to find more players, better players,” Allvin said in January.
Vancouver hasn’t drafted in the first round in back-to-back years for the first time in franchise history. They didn’t pick in the third and fourth rounds last year, or in the second round in 2020. The Canucks are also currently without a second-round pick for the upcoming draft this summer.
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