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:
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) April 21, 2017
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 has the option or going back to Sweden next year or go to Utica if he doesn't make the #Canucks, the European clause.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) April 21, 2017
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.