Derek Joslin and Ryan Kesler have… a dance off?
According to Carolina Hurricanes beat-writers, and the News1130Sports Twitter account, the Canucks have signed depth defenseman Derek Joslin to a one year, two-way deal. Derek Joslin became an unrestricted free-agent a few weeks ago when Carolina bought out his deal. Oddly enough Twitter first heard the news from Derek Joslin’s sister:
— Jamie Joslin (@jamjos25) July 4, 2012
Here’s the press release announcing the signing – along with the signing of Patrick Mullen – from canucks.nhl.com.
Click past the jump for some analysis!
Derek Joslin is a twenty-five year old defenseman, who played a significant number of minutes as a forward with Carolina last year (though he wasn’t very effective in that role). He has a hard shot and is an effective AHL defenseman, who won the "Hardest Shot competition" at the 2009 AHL All-Star game. Over parts of the past five seasons, Joslin has played 114 NHL games with the San Jose Sharks and the Carolina Hurricanes.
The first number that will likely jump out to Canucks fans is last season’s -15, which, I wouldn’t put much stock in considering Derek Joslin’s PDO was 955. Significantly more worrying is the fact that he got his teeth kicked in (-6.5 Corsi-rel, 42% of scoring chances) while playing extremely soft minutes for the Hurricanes.
From the looks of it, however, I don’t think this is a bad signing for the Canucks. Joslin is still young, and while he was a minus possession player on a crummy defensive team last season, he had more promising results in abbreviated stints with the San Jose Sharks in 08-09. He’s a young, physical player, and a good skater with a hard-shot and on a one year, two-way deal, there is no risk to the team.
If Joslin plays with the Canucks next season, he would likely be their eighth defenseman, and would presumably be paired with Tanev, Alberts or Ballard while his minutes are closely managed by Alain Vigneault. Joslin is probably a slight downgrade from what Alexander Sulzer brought to the table last season in that role, but I would still describe this signing as affordable depth "insurance." In all likelihood, Joslin will only be used if the likes of Kevin Connauton and Yan Sauve show poorly at training camp this fall.