The Canucks continue to take care of business this week, signing Ashton Sautner to a two-year, two-way contract this afternoon:
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 8, 2018
The full press release from the organization can be found below:
The former Edmonton Oil King has appeared in 150 AHL games over the past three seasons and has developed into a defensively dependable player at that level. With all the injuries suffered by the Comets, Sautner has earned himself a regular role and has been a big part of their success this season. With that being said, the chances of him carving out an NHL career are likely very limited at this point as he lacks a skill that separates him from other prospects down there.
Sautner ranks second in defencemen on the Comets in shots with 75 on the season.
The Flaxcombe native will require waivers to start next season.
It’s fair to believe that this move is done to give the organization some depth at the AHL level and insulate other defencemen like Guillaume Brisebois, Jalen Chatfield and possibly Olli Juolevi next season. Rather than signing unrestricted free agents to fill the role of “AHL veteran”, the Canucks have developed their own to ensure that the younger defencemen aren’t constantly being thrown to the wolves.
This isn’t to say that the soon to be 24-year-old Sautner is old, but merely a different approach to building their AHL team.
With Sautner now signed, the Canucks have 30 contracts on the books for the 2018-19 season.