The Canucks took care of some business today, announcing a contract extension for defenceman Ben Hutton.
The deal is two years, with an average annual value of $2.8 million per season.
Earlier this week, I advocated signing Bo Horvat to an extension before his ELC completed, but that thought process can and should’ve been applied to Ben Hutton.
The Canucks are smart to get the young defenceman under contract for the next two years as it creates cost certainty, keeps the cost down due to signing him before a possible later season breakout, and is a good PR move to get one of the Canucks young players under contract for another two seasons.
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With the extensions to Zack Kassian (2 yrs at $1.75M per), Sven Baertschi (2 yrs at $1.85M per), Markus Granlund (2 yrs at $900,000 per) and now Ben Hutton – it’s clear Canucks management does like to do a bridge deal for players, as opposed to a three or four year deal. Although I suggested a long term deal for Horvat, the plan of signing these players to bridge deals makes sense.
Hutton has 3 goals and 26 assists in 95 games since joining the Canucks out of camp last season. Although there have been suggestions that he has struggled at times this season, Hutton is continuing his upward trend that he saw throughout last season.
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This savvy piece of business makes the Canucks outlook this summer slightly clearer. Erik Gudbranson and the aforementioned Bo Horvat are the other major pending RFA’s that the Canucks will look to extend. Gudbranson cannot sign a new deal until January 1st.
Lastly, Ben Hutton is exempt from the upcoming NHL expansion draft as he will have under two seasons of professional experience.
According to Capfriendly.com – the Canucks now have 17 players under contract for next season with an expected cap hit of $58,458,333.