The Canucks have dipped their toes into the UFA prospect market today, as they’ve signed 25 year old Swedish defenceman Philip Holm.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) May 26, 2017
The full press release is as follows:
Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the club has signed defenceman Philip Holm to a one-year, entry-level contract. The 6’1″, 190-pound defenceman most recently represented Sweden on the international stage at the 2017 World Championship, helping to earn gold for his home country.
“Philip is a mobile, two-way defenceman who adds depth to our blueline,” said Benning. “He made strides in his development last season with Vaxjo and played a strong series with Sweden at the World Championships. We’re pleased to welcome him to the Canucks organization.”
Holm, 25, spent the 2016-17 with the Vaxjo Lakers of the Swedish Hockey League where he posted 21 points (4-17-21) and 30 penalty minutes in 52 games. He was a plus-24 on the season and earned the honours for the 2016-17 best plus/minus in the SHL.
Earlier this morning, it was reported that the Chicago Blackhawks and the Canucks were the finalists to sign Holm, and obviously the Canucks won the sweepstakes. The Toronto Maple Leafs had been rumoured to have interest earlier this month, to the point where reports had come out that the Holm was signing with the Leafs. But they signed Andrea Borgman and Calle Rosen, thus leaving Holm unsigned.
The Canucks were rumoured to have been interested in Borgman before he ultimately signed with Toronto.
Bob McKenzie from TSN gave a scouting report a couple of weeks ago:
— Grady Sas (@GradySas) May 26, 2017
Holm’s entry level contract is for one year, as he is 25 years old. He will not require waivers for the 2017-18 season if he is assigned to the Utica Comets. He is also exempt for the NHL Expansion Draft in June.
Since the contract is an ELC, it is automatically a two way deal. His NHL salary is $925,000, and the AHL salary is $70,000.
Holm had a breakout year for the Vaxjo Lakers in the SHL this past season, leading the defence in assists (17), points (21), and plus/minus (24). The aforementioned Calle Rosen led the Lakers defence in goals with six. That surge in offence brought interest from multiple NHL teams.
The interest isn’t surprising, as teams are always on the lookout for talent that may have been passed over in the draft. A similar player and age to Holm, is Tim Heed, who was signed by the San Jose Sharks last summer after putting up 23 points in 52 SHL games during the 2015-16 season. Heed did play the majority of the season in the AHL, but tore it up with 56 points in 55 contests.
I wouldn’t expect that same type of production from Holm, but that is an encouraging sign.
Holm is a little on the older side for a prospect, but at the very least provides some depth to the organization. As we’ve seen year after year, injuries happen and Canucks are left in a bit of a pickle. I would expect Holm to push for a spot out of camp, and if he is unable to secure one to start the season, he can be a viable call-up option.
The Canucks now have 34 standard player contracts, 13 pending Restricted Free Agents, and Juolevi, who is exempt from the 50 contract limit until he plays nine NHL games.