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Photo Credit: Windsor Star

Canucks sign UFA defenceman Mitch Eliot to three year entry level contract

The Canucks have dipped their toes into the free agent prospect market this afternoon, signing defenceman Mitch Eliot from the Sarnia Sting to a three-year entry-level contract:

The 20-year-old defenceman is in his second campaign with the Sarnia Sting and has posted seven goals and twenty assists in 32 OHL games this season. Last year, he started the year with Michigan State University but made the leap over to the OHL mid-season. He didn’t tear it up that year with only two goals and one assist in sixteen games.

He’s seen an elevated role with the Sting, has seized that chance, and has put up some points from the backend. He is second in defensive scoring for Sarnia and sits fifth in the Ontario Hockey League in defensive scoring.

Eliot participated in the Carolina Hurricanes development camp this past summer.

Elite Prospects provides this scouting report:

A physical two-way defenceman that plays a structured competitive game. Smooth skating compliments his ability to control the puck at higher speeds. Displays a pretty hard shot and crisp tape-to-tape passing ability, but is actually relied on more in the defensive zone. Battles very hard for puck possession and sees the game in lanes. Very strong positionally and is poised in his own end. As he continues to grow, he will become a more well-rounded defenceman with each game, as he recognizes and learns from his mistakes. Can play long shifts.

Any prospect like this is a lottery ticket. Most likely won’t work out but it’s clear looking at the Canucks prospect pool that they are in need of right-handed defencemen and Eliot provides that. The Grosse Pointe, MI native has clearly taken a step forward this season and the organization will hope that he can continue to do so over the remainder of this season and going forward.

Since the deal was signed prior to the end of the 2018 calendar year and Eliot will turn 21 in the new year, the first year of the contract will be eaten up this season.

  • Defenceman Factory

    Hard to get too excited about an undrafted 20 year old UFA but folks were unimpressed when MacEwen signed and that seems to be going fairly well.

    This signing does show the Canucks are working to find depth. CHL UFA signings are uncommon this time of year. Did the Canucks just get the drop on some other teams that may have been looking?

  • Nuck16

    There are lots of late bloomers out there, so the trajectory is more important than his age…and he seems to have made a huge leap from last year to this year…if he continues improving over the next few seasons it could work out nicely.

  • Killer Marmot

    The Canucks were woefully deficient in right-shooting defensemen, so this makes complete sense. It wouldn’t surprize me if they added another RD later this year.

  • Fred-65

    I’d have to think that at the beginning of the season JB asked scouts to find the best RHD they can. The shortage was obvious and it saves a draft pick in 2019. The previous signing was Colton Saucerman who has spent as much time in the ECHL as the AHL at the age of 26, to me that shows a degree of desperation and shortage of D for Utica now and the future. Eliot, 20 years old, has a better upside than Saucerman. I don’t want to read into this too much but it may also mean D currently in Utica will be in Vcr next season ?? 🙂

  • speering major

    Did everyone forget about Chatfield?

    I don’t know anything about this particular player but the situation seems familiar. Chatfield looks like he could be a NHL player in a season or 2. He’s very close at least. That’s a win