The Canucks have made the first signing from the free agent prospect pool, adding Princeton defenceman Josh Teves to a one year contract.
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 12, 2019
The Calgary born defenceman had attended Canucks development camp this past summer, so it’s clear the organization had some previous interest in the kid. Teves attended the Calgary Flames development camp in 2017.
He just completed his collegiate career this past week after posting three goals and seventeen assists in thirty games in his senior season. That was a dip from his junior year that saw him put up seven goals and twenty-six assists in thirty-one games and likely was why the Canucks invited him to development camp.
He had set the single-season record for assists by a defenceman in his junior season and earlier this year set the Princeton all-time assists record.
Teves is a smart and reliable two-way defender that relies on his good skating in all three zones. On the offensive side of the game, he is good at moving the puck out of his zone by making that smart first pass. In the defensive zone, he will do everything he can to help keep the puck out of his own net, but again, does it smartly. He isn’t afraid to block shots when he hasn’t been able to stop the attack with his active stick or good gap control.
The left-hander is a late bloomer. He didn’t play in the BCHL until 2014-15 and ended up commiting to Princeton in December of that season when he was already nineteen years old. He started his freshman season slowly posting seven points in thirty-one games but then took off his sophomore season and onwards.
Teves is expected to join the Canucks later this week and will likely get some games in before the end of the season. Since it was a one-year deal, that will burn the one year and he will become an RFA on July 1. This shouldn’t be a shock or surprise, the length of term for his age is bound by the CBA and it could’ve been part of the negotiation to burn that year and get him out of the ELC restrictions. (i.e. a higher AHL salary on that deal rather than what the ElC allows)
To be frank, any analytical tool will suggest that Teves is a long shot to make an impact at the NHL level due to his age and middle of the pack stats for this season. But the very important context of his development path and his skillset make this a worthwhile bet by the organization that could provide them immediate value to their NHL lineup.