It was announced this afternoon that the Canucks have signed 2016 first round pick Olli Juolevi to a three year entry level contract today.
— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) August 5, 2016
The full press release can be found below:
Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the club has signed 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. “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.”
Juolevi, 18, finished third among Ontario Hockey League rookie defencemen in scoring in 2015.16, registering 42 points (9-33-42) in 57 games for the London Knights. Skating in his first full season in North America, the 6-2, 182-pound defenceman also earned OHL Second All-Rookie Team and OHL Third All-Star Team honours. During the 2016 playoffs, Juolevi registered 14 points in 18 games to help the Knights capture the OHL Championship. Named to the tournament All-Star Team, he then added seven points in four games to help the Knights capture their second Memorial Cup.
Prior to joining London, Juolevi appeared in 44 games in 2014.15 with Jokerit’s junior squad in Finland, registering 32 points (6-26-32). He was also named the league’s Best Defenceman, Rookie of the Year and selected to the First All-Star Team.
On the international stage, the Helsinki, Finland, native helped his country capture gold at the 2016 World Junior Championship where he led all defencemen with nine assists (0-9-9) and was named to the tournament All-Star Team.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
There had been rumours and suggestions that there was some haggling over bonuses within the contract, but that worrying was all for naught. Once more details come out over the coming days, we will get a clearer picture of the terms of the deal but it isn’t something that should be fretted over. If Juolevi is in a position to earn those ‘A’ and ‘B’ bonuses, then the Canucks will be getting bargain for what the young Finn is providing to the club.
There was was also some concern as Juolevi was the last of the top 10 picks in the 2016 entry draft, aside from NCAA bound players, to sign his contract. But once again, it was a bunch of concern for nothing. The deal was going to get done.
Juolevi will likely return to the OHL next season with hopes of defending the OHL Championship and Memorial Cup title with the London Knights. Juolevi will don the Canucks jersey for the first time in Penticton at the Young Stars Prospect Tournament in September.