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Vancouver Canucks sign Nils Höglander to two-year contract

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Faber
By Faber
2 months ago
After a year where the 22-year-old winger spent most of his time in the AHL, Nils Höglander has signed a two-year contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canucks announced Sunday morning that they have agreed to terms with the feisty Swede.
“Nils learned a lot this past season, especially playing meaningful playoff games in Abbotsford,” said General Manager Patrik Allvin in a press release from the team. “It’s not easy to start the year in the NHL and then be sent down to the American League, but we were impressed with the way he took that challenge head on. He worked hard on his game and give credit to Jeremy Colliton, his staff, and our development team as well for helping Nils improve on things during the year. This experience should really help Nils compete for a spot on our team at training camp this fall.”
Höglander played in 25 NHL games last season, totalling three goals and nine assists. He played 45 games in the AHL and had 14 goals and 18 assists in the minors. Consistently, Höglander was the best player on the ice in AHL games. He was excellent in the AHL when the Swedish Mafia Line of Höglander, Nils Åman, and Linus Karlsson were assembled as a trio.
Throughout his pro career, Höglander has been impressive in the neutral and offensive zones but there have been worries about his defensive play through his 141 NHL games. We thought that Höglander made strong improvements in his defensive play last season and a lot of that comes form the good job that the AHL coaching staff did last season –led by head coach Jeremy Colliton.
To be more specific, Höglander did a better job making quick decisions around his own blue line. He wasn’t losing the puck and giving the opposition extra offensive zone time. Getting the puck out of your own blue line instead of making a risky play to maintain possession is often the easy play that Höglander struggled to make in the NHL but this has taken a big improvement during his development in the AHL.
On top of the defensive play, if you’ve watched Höglander enough, you are aware that he needs to be a better finisher. He found his scoring touch in the AHL with his 14 goals in 45 games last season.
We didn’t see Höglander’s best performance in the AHL playoffs. He was excellent in the first-round series against the Bakersfield Condors but had penalty troubles in the second, and ultimately final, AHL playoff series for Abbotsford.
In the end, this is a tidy piece of business for Allvin & co.
You are getting a 22-year-old on a very cost-controlled contract. It is a one-way contract with a salary of $1,000,000 in the first season and $1,200,000 in the second year according to CapFriendly.
Höglander’s projected contract from the folks at AFPAnalytics had Höglander making $1,376,231.82 AAV on a two-year deal.
The Canucks get Höglander cheap and with his AAV being $1,100,000, his contract is completely buriable in the AHL.
Höglander didn’t play a game for Rick Tocchet last season, as he spent all of Tocchet’s time in the AHL. He was sent down on December 19th at 11:59 pm — one minute before he turned 22 years old.
One final note is that Höglander will still be an RFA at the end of this contract. He will have a qualifying offer of $1,200,000. So, the Canucks easily have three more years of control on the Swedish winger.
What are your thoughts on the deal?

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