It was a busy day today for the Canucks as they announced that they had signed two collegiate free agents. The first was netminder Jake Kielly, who was already on the ice this morning. The second was announced later in the afternoon
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) April 1, 2019
The right-handed defender had just finished his NCAA season yesterday and was someone that the organization has had an interest in for a while. He had four goals and twenty assists in 38 games with Quinnipiac this season. That goal total was a new NCAA career high for him and his points matched the numbers he posted in his freshman season.
Rafferty played forward until his senior year in high school and has gone through a rapid growth spurt over the last few years, so he is a clearly a late bloomer that the organization hopes can make an impact soon.
The prospect depth chart has been void of right-handed defenceman, so at the very least Rafferty helps to address that need.
Given his age, Rafferty was only eligible for a one-year entry-level contract, which will be used for this season and he will be a restricted free agent on July 1st.
With Kielly and Rafferty’s contracts being signed for this season, the Canucks have 50 contracts on the books for this season. They will shed quite a few of those on July 1st but will have to be cognizant of it when looking to make moves at the draft.