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Photo Credit: Bildbyrån/Daniel Eriksson

Canucks sign Jonathan Dahlen to three year entry level contract

The Vancouver Canucks have announced that they have signed 2016 2nd round pick Jonathan Dahlen, who they acquired from the Ottawa Senators for Alex Burrows at the trading deadline, to a three year entry level contract:

Dahlen completed his season earlier this month with Timra of the Allsvenskan that saw him post 44 points (25-29-44) in 45 regular season games. He followed that up 4 goals and 2 assists in 4 playoff games. After that was done, he was assigned to Timra U20 team, where he had 7 points (5-2-7) in 5 games.

He was named the best junior player in the Allsvenskan (Guldgallret) after finishing the year with the most goals and points by a junior age player in the 2016-17 season.


Fans are rightfully excited about Dahlen. He was a highly regarded prospect heading into the 2016 NHL Entry Draft before Ottawa selected him 42nd overall. He took a huge step forward this season for Timra, ending the year as the 5th highest scorer.

Our own Jeremy Davis did a fantastic in-depth look at Dahlen at the time of the signing here.

At this moment, there is no information on what the plan for Dahlen is next season but it’s fair to expect that the hope is for him to play in Utica next year. There would be ample opportunity for someone of his skill set to make an impact.

The Canucks could loan Dahlen back to Timra, or another team in Sweden, if they feel that is best for his long term development. But I wouldn’t expect that to happen, as the Canucks retained his rights until June 1, 2020.

Dahlen does has a ‘European Clause’ within his contract:

Dahlen is 19 years old according to the section 9.2 in the NHL CBA:

But because his birthday is December 20, 1997, section 9.1d(i) comes into play here:

So, he is not eligible for the slide unless the player and team mutually agree to the contrary. At this time, that agreement isn’t known, but given the Canucks had the rights for few more years, it’s fair to believe that isn’t included.

Long story short – it is expected that Dahlen will spend the entire year in North America. But does have the option to go back to Sweden if he so chooses.

It will be exciting to see what Dahlen can do at Young Stars and in Utica next season. He was absolutely dominant throughout the second half of Allsvenskan regular season and playoffs. He gives the Canucks a prospect that was surely lacking for the Comets this year.

  • Sllew

    This doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be in North America next season.

    Plenty of prospects are loaned back to Sweden even if their ELC doesn’t slide. Such as Lucas Wallmark, Marcus Pettersson, Axel Holmstrom, Nick Sorensen, Linus Arnesson, and Nicklas Hansson.

    • sloth

      Pettersson, Arnesson, and Hansson are all defencemen, who follow an inherently different development path, so not really comparable, while Wallmark (4th-round pick) and Holmstrom (7th rd) are prospects with less upside and lower expectations, so I don’t think they provide insight into what will happen with Dahlen. Sorensen is the only real comparable in terms of his profile as a player, but he had played 2 seasons in the CHL, and then had a wrist surgery that limited him to 14 games in the first season Anaheim loaned him back to Sweden. He played another full season in the SHL before playing most of this last year in the AHL.

      Obviously it all depends on how Dahlen looks at the development and training camps in the fall, but he’s the organization’s best prospect that hasn’t played in the AHL or NHL already (and really only Boeser and Goldobin rank above him as “prospects”). He’s already played 2 seasons of pro hockey against men in Sweden’s second tier, so sending him back there doesn’t offer a new challenge or a real development plan. I suppose they could try to loan him to an SHL (1st tier) club, but what advantage does that offer over keeping him in the AHL? In the AHL they can closely monitor and control his development, introduce him to the North American ice-surface and playing style, and offer a chance at NHL experience as a call-up.

      So no, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be in North America next season, but there are almost no benefits to sending him back to Europe, so barring some major surprise we should definitely expect it.

      • Sllew

        Dahlen is a free agent in Sweden with multiple SHL teams interested in him. Obviously he won’t be going back to the Allsvenskan.

        Who cares where Wallmark and Holmstrom were drafted? Wallmark was playing international games for Sweden’s mens team at Dahlen’s age. Holmstrom broke Daniel Sedin’s record for SHL playoff points by a junior aged player.

        Those examples were just from the last few drafts. Here are some other recent forwards drafted in the first three rounds that were loaned back to Sweden at 20+: Oskar Sundvist, William Karlsson, Sebastian Wannstrom, Calle Jarnkrok, Oscar Lindberg, and Joakim Nordstrom.

        If Dahlen plays in the SHL next season it wouldn’t be a surprise or a big deal. At all.

      • TD

        I don’t have enough information to rank our prospects, but Dahlen didn’t rank in TSN’s top 50 and neither did Goldobin, both of whom were with their old teams when the ranking came out. Boeser was the Canucks top propect on the list at 6 (i think). Joulevi was 17th, Demko was in the low 30’s and Gaudette was 40. So the experts don’t agree that only Goldobin and Boeser are above him as prospects. As neither Goldobin or Dahlen were in the top 50, they didn’t rank them against each other. I got the sense that Goldobin was closer to being NHL ready, but Dahlen was the better prospect.

      • DJ_44

        As per CapFriendly, here are the conditions required for the contract NOT to count against the total: …..”players who meet the following three conditions do not count to this limit: 1. The player is 18 or 19 years of age. 2. Is in a junior league, and 3. who have not played 10 NHL games the current season

        He obviously meets conditions #1 (he is 19) and #3 (he has not played in the NHL); however, he played in the Swedish 2nd division with men so condition #2 is in doubt. Unless he was loaned or some such by the club’s Junior(U20) team to the men’s team.

        As per usual: Ryan?????

        • DJ_44

          This has been bugging me. Are they at the 50 contract limit?
          CapFriendly has them at 47 contracts, which includes Dahlen.

          Boeser, Juolevi and Brisbois do not count because of age and # of games played.
          Also, Tryamkin and Larsen are not longer under contract (and not shown on CF).

          • DJ_44

            In reply to below…..he is under contract…and counts against the 50 contract limit. I imagine the signing bonus has been paid. True, the first year of his ELC does not start until next year..but that is a different matter. He counts against the 50…as of signing….near as a can tell.

          • TD

            I think players remain under contract until free agency begins on July 1. Tryamkin and Larsen may have been removed as they signed with the KHL for next season. Come July 1st, Skille, Chaput, Shore, etc come off the books. That lower number in the 30’s is the contracts for next year. Horvat also comes off the books and will need to be resigned.

  • Holmes

    If I say I am cautiously optimistic about this kid, think that’s too bearish? Hockey News had him pegged recently as a B level prospect for the Sens. If you watch him play, he’s like a young Granlund.

    • Jamie E

      I think “cautiously optimistic” is about right. He IS a 42nd overall pick, not the fourth or the second overall pick. A skilled, puck distributing pivot in Utica is much needed. Let’s hope he can make an impact there, continue his development and fight for a roster spot on the top squad in 2018-2019.

      • TD

        At least half of these “top prospects” will make it, and many could end up as bottom 6 players. But with all prospects, some will continue to develop and others won’t. I’m hoping Granlund will be even better next year. The wrist injury that ended his season with surgery bothered him for several years. He may come back with a better shot and stronger on the puck. It would be awesome if he developed into the same player as his brother.

    • Dahlen is far more aggressive than Granlund. Granlund is a perimeter shooter whereas Dahlen’s first instinct is to drive the net to score. Both highly skilled but I think Dahlen’s game will translate better at the NHL level.

  • Neil B

    Very good. Take care of business as per usual. Let the kid start off in Utica next year; grab a few UFA reclamation projects on 1 year ‘show me’ contracts to fill out the NHL roster, and let the kid earn his wings (flippers?). Let’s get a few good prospects in Utica, and let them learn to win together, then bring ’em up the following season.

  • Carl Jung

    While he’s more of a top 10 than top 5 draft prospect, the Canucks could potentially select Dahlen’s teammate Elias Pettersson.

    In theory, the Sedins (and Eriksson) would be good transitional players although Dahlen/Pettersson are probably more second liners than first liners.

    As there are a number of interesting centres with potentially little separation amongst them, this might be a draft where the Canucks looks to slide down a couple of spots to gain another pick.

    If the Canucks don’t get #1 and select Patrick, I’d personally be fine with any of Hischier, Vilardi, Mittelstadt, Glass or Pettersson.

  • Smyl and Snepsts

    I believe I read that he broke the scoring record for junior players in that league that was established by Filip Forsberg. If so that sounds like a lot more than a B prospect to me.