Photo Credit: Vaxjo Lakers

Canucks sign Swedish defenceman Philip Holm to 1 year ELC

The Canucks have dipped their toes into the UFA prospect market today, as they’ve signed 25 year old Swedish defenceman Philip Holm.

The full press release is as follows:

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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:

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.

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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.

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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.

    • TD

      Benning didn’t say they would’t trade Tanev. He said they weren’t actively shopping them, but he was listening to the offers from the GM’s who were calling about them. From the comments, I think he would trade either of them if the offer was sufficient and in the Canucks’ best interest.

    • Braindead Benning

      The have no choise… they have had 3 years and still managed to screw up the depth on D… no wonder they have to give up draft picks to acquire players such as Larson and sign 25 year old from overseas… yes Bud, the Inept Mgmt is busy…

      Trying to be even worse then next year, the league should adapt the “Dim Jim” award lol

      • Bud Poile

        “Choise” set of words,Braindead.Dim,indeed.
        Tryamkin,Juolevi,Biega,Brisebois,Gudbranson,Pedan,McEneny,Stetcher and re-signing Tanev for 5 x $4.45m.
        Holm is described as being NHL calibre by McGuire and worth signing by Button.
        Thiis isn’t a $5m Ballard deal for Grabner,Bernier and a first.

        • Braindead Benning

          Again, throw in the old MG tiresome opinion bla bla bla… I don’t know many more times I have to inform you that I was never the biggest “Fan” of MG… I understand that he “like many other GMs” have taken the opportunities from past regimes and was able to “almost” win it all !!!
          I was just Making references that he was able provide a winning attitude a new approach on team training and sleep analysis etc..to a new level is all you dumbass, so now I hope you finally hope you get that through your thick head!
          First off only Tryamkin, JB, OV, AP, TS and the Slug are Dim Jims list and only TS and OV (to an extent) are the only true players IMO that may/will pull though as NHL regulars, you can argue about Tryamkin however, you can see where he wants to belong at the moment so scratch that player off your list for the time being… as for the others such as McEneny, Tanev and Beiga only 1 stands to be slotted in the line up.

          At this given point the Canucks have
          Elder = DN
          Taney = MG
          Hutton = MG
          Stecher = JB
          Sbisa = JB
          The Slug = JB

          Only Stecher stands out…

          • Bud Poile

            ” Dumbass,DimJim,bla bla bla,Braindead,slugs…..”
            It’s been a pleasure being educated and conversing with such a level-headed,patient fan with your articulate and intelligent demeanour.
            Back to the sunshine.

        • Dirk22

          Trying to slip some gillis defencemen into your post there Bud to pad the argument? Tanev? McEneny? Well done!

          And then throw in Biega too as if that’s a win ! Tryamkin? Yeah that didn’t work out unfortunately.

          Should have just left it at Stetcher as that’s by far the best work Benning has done to build a blue line.

          • Bud Poile

            Tanev was a Gagner friend and hire.Benning inked him to a fair deal is what was noted.
            McEneny was retained by Benning,in spite of plying his trade and being of ECHL quality at the time of retainment.
            Tryamkin was drafted by Benning and is Canucks property.
            Joulevi,Tryamkin,Stetcher,Brisebois,Pedan,Gudbranson,Biega,Holm and Sbisa are NHL calibre d-men-all scouted and signed by Benning.
            That’s building a d-corps.

  • Ronning4ever

    To give an indication of how hard the team is going after defense, 15 of those 34 standard player contracts are defensemen. If they get Raddyish – then it’s 16; Juolevi = 17.

      • Ronning4ever

        In all honesty, I don’t think there’s a plan other than “Hope some of these defensemen turn out OK!” However I think it really underlines some of the moves: Not wanting to trade Tanev, the 5th for Larsen, the Gudbranson trade, signing Sbisa, signing Biega, etc. As much as these moves have been criticized, I personally think the brass just felt that there simply weren’t any better options.

        I think many CA writers would argue that instead the team should sell it all off and start from scratch, but I do agree with Jim Benning that: “There’s no worse feeling than trying to develop young players and get them up and going when you know you don’t have a chance to win.”

        I think the Colorado experience this year is a good example of what happens when you tank too hard. Some of their core players simply want out of town.

        • Billy Pilgrim

          Taylor Hall said as much in his recent interview about his time in Edmonton. It’s hard for young players to develop when they go into a game thinking they don’t have a chance to win.

  • defenceman factory

    Waiver exempt, expansion exempt, entry level money and an RFA at the end of the year, if this guy cracks the line-up this is a great signing. If he doesn’t a reasonable gamble and probably an upgrade for Utica.

    I would rather see the Canucks package up Gudbranson for another first round pick than see Edler or Tanev traded now. Tanev or maybe Edler can go at the deadline if Holm or any of the young guys (Joulevi, Pedan Brisbois, Subban) prove they can play in the NHL.

    • truthseeker

      I’d like to trade my ford escort for a ferrari too….but it ain’t gonna happen. Come on man….I know D have a lot of value in the NHL but there’s no way Gudbranson brings back a first round pick, even with a throw in.

      • TheRealRusty

        Then we shouldn’t have traded what we traded for him. In my world, if you can’t sell an asset for what you paid for it, then you have paid too much….

        • truthseeker

          What Jarred McCann? Yeah…..great loss there.

          Really? So nothing in life depreciates? Everything you buy always returns more than you paid for it? Riiiiiight.

          If you’re expectations for NHL trades or signings or whatever…are always going to be you should always end up with more for a player than you started with….well…you’re going to be in for a lifetime of disappointment and frustration being a fan.

          Perhaps your expectations are a bit out of whack?

          • Dirk22

            Truthseeker – Here’s the actual truth. Benning traded McCann who was a first round pick AND a 33rd overall pick for Gudbranson. That’s amounts to the best young center in the system outside of Horvat and another player who would easily be considered a top-5 Canuck prospect – see Apslund, Debrincat, Raddysh, Mascherin etc.

            If playing a half season depreciates a player that much where it’s ludicrous to think that he could fetch a 1st (he couldn’t) – you know it’s a bad trade.

          • Bud Poile

            McCanned and a second for the third overall pick from the 2010 draft.
            Guddy has played 30 games as a Canuck and will show us what he’s got this season.
            D-men come into their own at 26-27 so I expect a big year from Guddy.

          • truthseeker

            Well what a surprise Dirk! You forgot to mention the 5th rounder that came back to vancouver. How convenient of you not putting in factors that don’t support your point. Don’t worry though…I noticed for you. Corrected you as it were. You also forgot the 4th round pick we sent them that would have bolstered your point even more….lol.

            Right. So it cost a lot to get D. Like I’ve always said. And I’ve not denied anywhere that so far Gudbranson hasn’t been good. So what’s your point? You’re not “getting me” simply by recounting the trade….lol.

            And see….I’m not like you….I don’t judge things with hindsight after a few days. I’ll wait to offer an opinion on this trade because not enough time has passed to determine a “winner”. Just like I don’t write off Virtanen after only 2 years out of jnr. Or morons who write off Juolevi after nothing.

            All I will say is, so far it hasn’t worked well for either team. McCann looks pretty useless too. And considering the fairly well supported stories about his arrogance in the dressing room and his documented whining on draft day….well…I’m not loosing sleep over that trade.

            You want to call it a failure after ONE year..fine….I know you love the self loathing….fit’s ya good. Enjoy your whining over reaction. lol.

          • defenceman factory

            This exchange has gone in a different direction than the points I obviously failed to make.

            First Benning has signed an alternative to Neill and Olson who he did not offer contacts and without the issues of waivers, expansion or having the player walk as a UFA. Seems a decent move and sheds some light on taking a pass on Neill and Olsen.

            Trading Tanev almost surely means resigning Gudbranson and maybe long term. Big, bottom pair D come from the tail end of the first round fairly often. It isn’t unreasonable to think a team might consider Guddy as part of a package for a pick in that range. Dallas has the 29th pick. Taking one of their goalies could be part of it.

            The main point being I would rather see a deal built around Guddy for a decent pick or prospect. Tanev should be here to shelter and help develop the young guys. Preferable to Guddy here long term. It gets pretty ugly giving Stetcher top 4 minutes playing him with Guddy.

            And Truthseeker take whatever you can get for that Ford Escort.

          • truthseeker

            I agree it seems like a decent move. I really don’t have any clue about this guy so I’ll just take a wait and see approach. Hopefully he’s a “late bloomer” type and works out for us. If not….just another low risk chance that didn’t work out.

            Maybe. But taking one of their goalies and giving up Gudbranson for a late first round pick seems like we’re getting the shaft. We really don’t know what we’ve got with Gudbranson. How much that injury was affecting his play etc. I’ll admit what we have seen hasn’t looked great, but I’d prefer to try to pull a “Hodgson” with him. Get him into games and shelter him to boost his value, and then trade him. Rather than dump him at a low point right now.

            If the escort is still running, and not causing any major problems, and you simply NEED a car….then it doesn’t make sense to “take what you can get.” I ain’t going to sell it for 10 bucks.

            But yeah if we can get a decent prospect or pick for him then I’d be all for it. Again though….I’d still like to see what he can do under a new coach who hopefully has a better idea of how to deploy people than the previous coach.

          • defenceman factory

            I’d also like to see more of Guddy in the hopes he proves to be better than what we saw last year. What we do know is his fancy stats aren’t good, even when he was in Florida and his hockey sense and skating don’t look to be top 4 level. Gudbranson was brought in to shelter younger guys. He and Hutton did not look good. Only place to shelter Guddy is next to Edler which puts the pairings out of whack. I don’t see a fit short or long term.

            Bottom line is trading Tanev now could make this team so bad management will be forced into trading for a replacement. Either move guddy now or wait till the trade deadline, assess how the D is developing and decide if Tanev can be moved.

          • Dirk22


            “Just like I don’t write off Virtanen after only 2 years out of junior”

            *one paragraph later*

            “McCann looks pretty useless too”

            Amazing stuff how a brain can work like that.

          • truthseeker

            I’m quite open to the possibility that McCann will become a good player. But he had a lot of baggage with the canucks right from draft day. His attitude is obviously a problem. Flipping him for D help was not a bad move considering.

            At this point there is nothing wrong with saying the trade hasn’t worked out well for either team because it hasn’t.

            And if Virtanen doesn’t amount to anything then I will have no problem calling him a bust. But that time is not here yet. Not to mention Virtanen was never traded for anyone so there is no point of comparison as with McCann….obviously.

            It’s amazing how a brain like yours doesn’t work, to logically follow an argument through.

            So let’s dumb it down for you again Dirk22.

            Me think Virtanen and Gudbranson trade no be judged yet.

            You think everything always failure.

            Sound about right? Your pool of self loathing is really deep isn’t it?

          • Dirk22

            Oh boy. I’ll try to catch you up on the last three years. It’s never been about whether Virtanen will play in the NHL – I’m sure he will and hopefully he’ll be able to carve out a decent career. It’s always been about the first line talent they passed on to draft him at #6.

            I’m sure you’ll claim hindsight as that seems to be your favorite word but that would be similar to claiming hindsight on Trump being a bad President.

          • truthseeker

            Of course I’ll claim hindsight cause that’s exactly what it is. You’re concluding that we made the wrong pick because a couple guys later than him have had a faster start. You’re concluding an entire career after 2 seasons. How is that NOT hindsight? Were the Isles and Canes wrong too? Are their picks “busts” too?

            And no….your analogy is not even close to being logical. Jake IS a hockey player. Trump had zero political experience. He’s a business man. You’re analogy would only make sense if the canucks had drafted you. You know…not a hockey player like Trump is not a politician….lol. See how that works? Logic is your friend. Try to work it out.

            And what will you do if Jake blossoms into a great player and Nylander and Ehlers start to decline? Just clam up and stop posting? Pretend like you didn’t write him off after 2 seasons?

            You are a typical self loathing canuck “fan”. Glass always half empty. Quick to judge, and always assuming the worst. Not in the least bit capable of any sort of neutrality, but pretending like you’re being a “critical voice”. When the reality is you’re just being a contrarian for the sake of being a contrarian.

            Why do you even bother? Is your life that miserable that your “entertainment” is being a constant negative downer troll about the canucks? Sad.

    • Locust

      If they can pull it off how about Tanev to Dallas for Niemi, Dman Esa Lindell (23 y.o.) their #3 pick this year and as a sweetener we switch draft positions with them in 2017 round 3 and conditional switch 2018 round 3.

  • NucksWyn

    We sure do like signing swedes lol I’m okay with it we’ve taken some great players over the years out of Sweden. Great depth signing now let’s move Edler