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Photo Credit: Canucks.com/Getty Images

Predicting new contracts for Canucks UFA and RFA

The Canucks will have some decisions ahead of them for this upcoming summer.

Who will they add? Who will they draft? Who will they sign?

All of those items will sort themselves out due to a variety of factors outside of their control, so it can be hard to really predict. But their pending unrestricted free agents and restricted free agents are still within team control until July 1 and are a little bit easier to sort out.

The boys at Evolving Wild have stepped up and created a contract projection to let us see what the new contracts will look like. With that tool, we can take a quick look around and see what the Canucks players might garner.

It has been reported that they will let defenceman Derrick Pouliot and forward Brendan Gaunce will not receive qualifying offers and become free agents thus they have been excluded from this.

Unrestricted Free Agents

Alexander Edler

The Canucks biggest free agent still hasn’t signed a new deal with the team. It is surprising given that it appeared that both sides wanted to get a deal done earlier this year but there hasn’t been an announcement yet.  According to the Evolving Wild tool, Edler would come in around the following numbers:

3 years at $5,850,908 AAV

That term and number likely don’t jive with what Canucks fans expect but it just solely based on the raw numbers and don’t count the context of the situation. It will be interesting to see how this one shakes out but I would suspect that if the Canucks sign Edler that the annual average value to be less.

Luke Schenn

The rugged defenceman was a welcome addition to the Canucks backend in the second half of the season and appeared to jive quite well with Quinn Hughes. We shouldn’t expect him to make a huge impact but would provide some depth at the NHL level, which is something the Canucks could use. The projected deal is:

1 year at $776,552

The Canucks would probably be down with that deal but the Schenn camp would likely expect higher compensation. Closer to the $1.0M range is likely where this deal would land.

The other pending unrestricted free agents are Tanner Kero, Evan McEneny (Group VI), Tom Pyatt, and Michael Leighton. All of whom I don’t expect to be back.

Restricted Free Agents

Brock Boeser

The big fish in the Canucks free agent pool, Boeser is expected to get a large deal. There have been plenty of posts talking about what to expect out of his next deal and all come with valid reasons to believe that Boeser won’t be signed for anything below $7.0M per season and the Evolving Wild projection agrees with it:

7 years at $7,004,554 AAV

Just a shade of seven million dollars.

This deal would keep Boeser in Canucks colours for a long period of time and would likely have fans praising the AAV. It will be really intriguing to see how this one shakes out, but I would expect the deal to come a bit a higher due to ‘paying for’ expected production that he does with Elias Pettersson over the next few years.

Ben Hutton

Unlike Boeser, Ben Hutton has arbitration rights and can be signed to an offer sheet. It’s highly unlikely that he is signed an offer sheet but him exercising his arbitration rights is a very likely outcome. Given those add layers of negotiation tactics, Hutton’s new deal might be the hardest one of the RFA bunch to get done. The Evolving Wild projection isn’t very fruitful for Hutton:

2 years at $2,472,978 AAV

Given that his qualifying offer is $2.8M, it’s hard to imagine that Hutton would sign that deal. His new deal will almost certainly be higher than $2.473M per season.

Nikolay Goldobin

Canucks management has gone on record saying that they hope to bring back Nikolay Goldobin and work with him to become the player that people think he can be. Given that, maybe the Canucks explore the option of signing him to a two-year pact as a ‘show me deal’. The projection has a similar train of thought:

2 years at $1,882,663 AAV

At first glance, it seems a bit high. I would expect him to sign a two year deal around $1.5M per season. This ‘show me’ avenue has been something the Canucks have done with quite a few players over the past few years.

Josh Leivo

Acquired in the middle of last season, Josh Leivo was a pleasant surprise for a team that needed some offensive depth. It’s fair to expect that the Canucks will want to protect their asset and sign him to a multi-year deal rather than a one-year pact and then let him walk as a UFA next summer. Given that, his projection is:

3 years at $2,004,459 AAV

That AAV seems low for Leivo and would likely land more in the high $2.0M range rather than just above. The organization will want to make sure they don’t over commit to Leivo as they hope to add more offensive punch in their lineup and thus a player like Leivo could get put in a third line role.

Markus Granlund

Markus Granlund had a good first season with the Canucks but has slowly trended downwards as he saw his role diminish. If the Canucks are wanting to get better and add more offence, Granlund is a player that could get squeezed out and moved. His projection comes in as follows:

2 years at $2,560,094 AAV

That number wouldn’t make sense for the role that the Canucks would be placing Granlund in and the forwards already signed for next season.

The following depth players are about to become RFA and are projected to sign the following deals:

Name Years AAV
Tyler Motte 2 $1,118,324
Josh Teves 2 $714,005
Brogan Rafferty 2 $734,685
Reid Boucher 1 $754,196

The Motte deal is digestible and maybe someone that the organization re-signs. Teves and Rafferty will battle for a spot in training camp but will almost certainly head to Utica next year. I would expect that Boucher won’t be qualified.


This is obviously just a raw look at how the deals might shake out and shouldn’t be taken as THE deal that the players will sign.

The deals that might see the most variance are the Alex Edler, Brock Boeser, and Ben Hutton deals for varying reasons.

It’s clear there will be plenty of work to be done before July 1st and over the rest of the summer.

    • Muttley

      If anything can be attained by a Granlund trade, I’m all for it. Think we’ve seen the best he has to offer.
      I don’t foresee a Sutter trade, (too bad), but I would sure hate to see Gaudette in Utica solely because
      of a roster numbers situation.

  • Jamie E

    Interesting fact. An Erik Karlsson signed for seven years as a free agent will be younger than an Alex Edler signed for three years at the end of those two contracts. So doesn’t it make more sense to NOT pay Alex Edler $6ish million dollars for the next three years at all and pay Erik Karlsson $10 million or so for seven years? Erik Karlsson playing with an obvious groin injury at probably 50% of his healthy capacity was a point per in these playoffs. A first pairing of Karlsson/Tanev and a 2nd pairing of Hughes/Stecher would look pretty darn good.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Yep.Hard pass on a 3 year deal for almost 6 mill for Eddie. If he really, really, really wants to be here as much as he says he does, which he seems to have proven by handcuffing the teams ability to progress by not waiving his NTC for the last 2 years, then offer him 4.5 for 2 years, take it or leave it. No NTC. And once again I will point out that his bounce back season last year coincidentally (remarkably? unsurprisingly?) also happened to be a contract year. Also, the Goldobin and Granlund projections are ridiculously high.

      • North Van Halen

        With that term and cost a NTC would be the only way it gets done. Saying we should throw a ‘take it or leave it’ deal just isn’t a good strategy, unless they believe they have a great shot at Karlsson, who would instantly change the d core. If he walks, Gardiner or Myers ain’t coming here for a discount, that means over paying a free agent (likely in term and price) to take his place until internal options are available.
        Edler on a reasonable 2 or 3 year deal is fine, Vancouver just can’t add a 3rd year with a NMC, which is likely the sticking point. If Edler is holding out for the 3rd year and a full NMC, then it’s been nice knowing ya, go see if some another team is willing to offer that.
        Edler has been a good soldier and a likely (and sadly) the best Canuck defenceman of all time, he deserves a little more respect than a take it or leave it low ball offer, just not one that screws us for the expansion draft.

      • North Van Halen

        Yeah and those Goldy/Granlund projections are crazy. $2.5 for Granlund?! WTF. He’s a less abrasive version of what Tim Schaller (Granlund had an identical 12 goal 22 point season to Schallers before he signed) was supposed to bring and as an UFA Schaller got less than $2mil. How can an RFA Granlund be worth $2.5?

  • TD

    The Edler deal either needs to be two years or no have a NMC so as not needing protection in the Seattle expansion draft. I’m willing to bet these are the sticking points preventing a deal to date.

    I seems crazy that the predictor has Granlund making a half mil more than Lievo.

    I like what McEneny brought offensively when healthy and after Juolevi went down. I would sign him again to fill that role when Juolevi is call up.

    • j2daff

      100% the right call on the Edler NMC.

      McEneny has looked good when he has been healthy for a long enough stretch to shake the rust off. The organization would be smart to try to keep him in the mix.

  • wojohowitz

    Good article at sportsnet about Tampa. They need to unload McDonaugh and/or buyout Callahan to re-sign Point. I don`t see them chasing Karlsson but they could make Edler an offer.