The Vancouver Canucks, already without Loui Eriksson and Alexander Edler long-term, have announced that Troy Stecher will be our four to six weeks with a knee injury. Stecher was injured in Sunday’s matchup with the Detroit Red Wings, putting a hold on his sophomore campaign.
This is the opposite of what the Canucks wanted this year, as they continue to develop their young core for the future. Stecher, an undrafted free agent from the University of North Dakota was a revelation for the team last year, recording 24 points in 71 games. That came in nearly 20 minutes of ice time a night, and though that number has been reduced somewhat this year he is still a big part of their plan going forward. The 23-year old defenseman is in the final year of his entry-level contract, and is due for a new deal this summer. Locking him up long-term is likely the plan, as he’ll hit free agency after just three more seasons.
The Canucks started a rebuild last year when they sold at the deadline, and though they are off to an impressive 4-3-1 start under new head coach Travis Green, they likely won’t deviate from that plan. The team brought in several free agents this summer, and could use them and other players as trade bait as the season progresses. Erik Gudbranson—a 25-year old defenseman who happens to be the same handedness as Stecher—is an unrestricted free agent this summer and doesn’t necessarily fit into their long-term plans.