A busy day for PTO’s continues, as the Vancouver Canucks have joined the fray. The team announced this afternoon that they have come to terms on a professional tryout agreement with veteran forward Ryan White. There has been little discussion of the 29-year-old this off-season, but it appears as if he’ll at least be given a chance to continue his NHL career in Vancouver.
White quietly tied his career high in scoring in 2016-17, recording 16 points between the Arizona Coyotes and Minnesota Wild. He notched a career-best seven assists over the campaign, with all but one coming in his first 46 games with the Coyotes. Somewhat of a “throw in” as part of the Martin Hanzal trade, White only added three points in 19 games with the Wild and was shutout in three postseason contests. However, he did manage to match his -8 rating in Arizona in 27 less games in Minnesota. For a player that has built his career off of physical, two-way play, a career-worst -16 rating was a disappointing total. Consider a drop-off in hits, blocked shots, and face-off success from his time with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2015-16 and it makes more sense that there has been a lack of interest in a once-prominent checking forward, despite better offensive production.
Luckily for White, the Canucks have shown a willingness to bring in veteran players, in contrast to the opinion of many that they should be focused on re-building. Although Vancouver welcomes back Derek Dorsett for the 2017-18 season, it would not be a surprise to see White turn his PTO into an affordable contract as a depth option for the Canucks. Alternatives such as Jayson Megna and Michael Chaput struggled greatly last season and the team could use an upgrade if they aren’t comfortable giving those checking roles to younger players. Vancouver often lacked an edge last season and if White brings anything to a team, it’s toughness and grit.