Abbotsford Canucks sign Josh Passolt, Derek Daschke, Michael Joyaux and Jonathan Lemieux to one-year AHL contracts
Photo credit:@joshpassolt on IG
By Faber1 month ago
The Abbotsford Canucks added a lot of depth in one day on Tuesday afternoon when they announced four AHL contracts being signed.
Abbotsford General Manager Ryan Johnson announced through a press release that the team has signed Josh Passolt, Derek Daschke, Michael Joyaux, and Jonathan Lemieux to one-year AHL contracts ahead of the 2023-24 AHL season.
Let’s start with the youngest of the bunch, who also happens to be the one goaltender.
Lemieux is a 22-year-old who was Concordia University’s starting goaltender last season in the USports league. He played in 21 games during the regular season and six in the playoffs. His regular season stats were impressive — boasting a 1.98 goals against average and a 0.933% save percentage.
Now, we will dive into the two ECHLers.
Joyaux is a 26-year-old, right-shot defenceman who played in 72 ECHL games last season with the Newfoundland Growlers. He scored nine goals and added 32 assists on the year. Joyaux is 5’10” and spent time as the power play quarterback for the Growlers last season.
Last year was Joyaux’s first as a pro after a four-year career at Western Michigan in the NCAA where he totalled up 16 goals and 51 assists in 120 NCAA games.
Derek Daschke is a 6’2″, left-shot defenceman who we actually wrote about in a Monday Mailbag article 10 months ago as a potential depth add to the AHL club from the NCAA free agent pool.
The size is nice but the skating level was something we could see translating to pro hockey as well. Daschke played in the ECHL for 13 games (including playoffs) after wrapping up his final NCAA season last year. Daschke played for both Miami University, where he was the captain for the 2021-22 season before moving on to the University of Minnesota-Duluth last year. Daschke was also a captain in his final year of USHL play and seems to have some leadership qualities that keep getting him a ‘C’ on his chest.
Josh Passolt is the oldest of the bunch. The 27-year-old left winger comes in at 6’0″ and scored 25 goals and added 22 assists in his rookie ECHL season with the Cincinnati Cyclones.
Passolt is another former Western Michigan University Mustang. He played five NCAA seasons with the Mustangs and finished with 44 goals and 64 assists over his 166-game NCAA career. We also saw Passolt in six AHL games last season, including five playoff games with the Rochester Americans. Passolt scored two goals in those six AHL games. He was a linemate of current Abbotsford Canucks centre Max Sasson back in the 2021-22 season at Western Michigan.
None of the four players signed on Tuesday were drafted in the NHL Entry Draft but all have played well enough at their respective levels to earn AHL contracts. We’re likely to see all four of these players playing with the Kalamazoo Wings, as the Canucks announced the new affiliation with the ECHL club earlier this summer.
Our bet for the player who suits up most for the Abbotsford Canucks is Daschke as a depth defenceman but won’t be surprised if Passolt can find some offence at the AHL level.
In the end, this is AHL depth who likely will spend a lot of the season in the ECHL. There are some connections to Western Michigan and it’s always fun to see a guy get signed out of the Canadian USports league as well.
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