The Canucks announced today that they have signed Joseph Labate to a one-year, two-way contract. The full press release can be found below:
Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the club has re-signed forward Joseph LaBate to a one-year, two-way contract.
“Joseph provided a physical presence to both lineups in Vancouver and Utica last season,” said Benning. “He’s a big, strong player and provides further depth to the forward group within our organization.”
LaBate, 24, registered 1.8 hits per game in 13 appearances with the Canucks in 2016.17. He made his NHL debut on November 23rd at Arizona. The 6-5, 210-pound forward also collected 16 points (6-10-16) and 80 penalty minutes in 38 games for Utica last season. In 106 career AHL games, all with Utica, LaBate has registered 36 points (16-20-36) and 161 penalty minutes.
A native of Burnsville, Minnesota, LaBate was drafted by Vancouver in the fourth round, 101st overall, in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
At this time, there are no financial details.
The 24-year-old winger is waiver exempt for the 2017-18 season unless he appears in 57 NHL contests. It’s safe to assume that Labate will start the season in Utica, but does have a chance to earn a call-up as a depth player with physicality. He will be leaned upon as a veteran in Utica with the influx of skilled players making their way to the Comets this season.
With the signing of Labate, the Canucks have 41 contracts on the books for next season. They have 5 Restricted Free Agents left to sign in Bo Horvat, Reid Boucher, Michael Chaput, Brendan Gaunce and Evan McEneny.