It was a worthwhile experiment, but also a short one. The NLA’s Zurich Lions announced today that they’ve signed forward Drew Shore to a two-year contract, effectively ending his tenure in Vancouver after just 14 games.
From Zurich’s official press release:
We are happy to announce the signing of Drew Shore. The American centre has signed a two-year contract with the ZSC Lions, until 2019.
Shore played 53 games for EHC Kloten last season, earning 51 points (24 goals and 27 assists). When Kloten were eliminated from playoff contention, Shore went to the Vancouver Canucks for the rest of the season. There, the 26-year-old played 14 games (two assists).
“Drew showed what he could do in Switzerland last season,” said Lions General Manager Sven Leuenberger. “As a right-handed shot, he can be particularly valuable on the powerplay and penalty kill.”
Shore’s ice time in Vancouver was rather limited, with no rhyme or reason to who he would slot up with. His most common forward linemates were Griffen Molino, Brandon Sutter, Joseph Cramarossa, Joseph Labate, Reid Boucher, and Jayson Megna; hardly a group that is going to allow you to give an offensive audition. All the same, it’s not like there were high expectations for him, given that he entered his audition with just 24 points in 80 career NHL games.
More than anything, the Canucks appeared to hope for some bottom line utility out of the 6’3 centre, which probably isn’t as lucrative or enjoyable for Shore as being a top-line forward in an emerging league. Just as importantly, staying in Switzerland gives him a real opportunity to represent Team USA in the 2018 Olympics if the NHL continues to hold steady with its willingness not to take part.
Overall, this isn’t the most vital loss in the world for the Canucks, though it’s still something to note.