Canucks sign 2016 first round pick Olli Juolevi

It was announced this afternoon that the Canucks have signed 2016 first round pick Olli Juolevi to a three year entry level contract today. 

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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.

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  • dtriemstra

    Let me make something crystal clear.

    This past season, 28% of Canuck goals were scored by players under the age of 23. In other words, 52 of 186 goals (Horvat: 16, Baertschi: 15, McCann: 9, Virtanen, 7, Others: 5).

    During the 1983-84 season (a season during which the Canucks actually made the playoffs), 49% of Canuck goals were scored by players under the age of 23. In other words, 149 of 306 goals (Tanti: 45, Sundstrom: 38, Lanz: 18, Neely: 16, Lemay: 12, Belland: 7, Petit: 6, Others: 7).

    The Canucks subsequently missed the playoffs in 1985, got swept in 3 quick games in 1986 by the Oilers, missed the playoffs in 1987, and missed the playoffs in 1988. It wouldn’t be until almost a decade later that the Canucks would win a playoff round, in 1992. None of those ’83-’84 “young guns” were still with the team by then.

    The point is two-fold:

    1) As much as everyone likes to say the Canucks “went young” this year, the fact is, empirically, they really didn’t.

    2) The Canucks are in for a long, long, long road ahead of them. By the time they are any good again, it is very likely Virtanen, Hutton, McCann, etc. will be long gone.

    • dtriemstra

      Let me make something crystal-clear…you cannot compare last years Canucks to a team based from the 1980’s! Like…holy crap are you serious?! Today’s NHL is a completely different league. It is younger, faster and more skilled now; which means getting swept in the 1980’s with this type of team was not surprising by any means. Today however, this is what teams are going for. Young, fast and skilled. Toughness and size still obviously matter, but you’re argument makes no sense. By the time the Canucks are good again…give it two more seasons…they will have locked up Horvat, Baertschi, Virtanen and Hutton to extensions. McCann is already gone so once again, your argument makes no sense.

  • Olands

    Dammit, Benning. That’s a video camera lens not a contract! Now the whole thing is non-binding.

    When are we going to get a proper GM who knows the difference between a signature block and audio-visual recording equipment!

  • Olands

    I too like the idea of him spending a year in Europe playing against men (even if they do wear those ultra-tight skinny pants).

    By the time this kid is 24, if he keeps his nose and other orifices clean, he will be a superstar.

      • Olands

        could you imagine a full on tank?

        why did you have to go and mention Messier?

        Sedins never had to make up for the Messier years, they have had great careers as Canucks.

        now we just have to be patient and not rush any kids into the lineup.

  • Larionov18

    “Juolevi will don the Canucks jersey for the first time in Penticton at the Young Stars Prospect Tournament in September.”

    Wrong. He first don the jersey on draft day.

  • Olands

    It looks like Dubois, at least at this stage, is playing as a winger. If that be the case, I am glad that we picked up OJ at #5. Worse case scenario, if he is just a solid d-man and puts up only 10 points a season we can trade him for a player like Taylor Hall.

  • dtriemstra

    geez, you guys are rough. Blae Uopa comes on for a little game of rational frisbee and you guys chase him off the ultimate field. sure he’s doesn’t really throw that frisbee very well, or catch it, but he’s trying. he chases it down full speed when it gets away from him.

    he just wants to have fun and frolic around a bit. be a little nicer to him. there should be a spot for everyone. life’s not all frisbee skills.

  • TheRealPB

    It sucks seeing tkachuk go to Calgary but in my own opinion we need juolevis skillet more than tkachuks. We’ve been looking for that all round top pairing Dman for a long time. We have a guy who has a similar skill set like tkachuk and that’s boeser. So juolevi was the right choice.

  • Larionov18

    @ Blae Uopa

    Wasn’t posting that comment in one thread to which it was irrelevant to the thread enough? Will we see you posting this in every thread from now on?

  • dtriemstra

    Re: Blue Opie (or whatever, you’re a troll, so nobody cares).

    I think I have it figured, you are:

    A) doing time at the horizontal hotel and you are only allowed five clicks a week

    B) in care, and your meds interfere with critical thought but you want to play as well

    C) live in your mother’s basement but promised you wouldn’t post online so as not to be a stereotype (and she listens for clicks) or….

    D) You are a sad little clown with nothing to add but (s)hit disturbing.

    Go read a book, try thinking about it and come back when you can add and not subtract, you might even say something we want you to expand upon. If not, well, you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here (your type are never welcome).