Outside of the big signing of Ilya Mikheyev, the Vancouver Canucks have added depth all over the roster today. The team has signed Curtis Lazar to a three-year contract worth a total of $3MM, Wyatt Kalynuk to a one-year, two-way contract with an NHL salary of $750K, Collin Delia on a one-year, one-way contract worth $750K, Dakota Joshua on a two-year contract worth a total of $1.65MM, and Phillip Di Giuseppe on a one-year, two-way contract with an NHL salary of $750K.
On Lazar, the biggest signing of the group, general manager Patrik Allvin released the following statement:
Curtis is a valuable addition to our group. He grew up a Canucks fan, was raised in BC, and already has a strong connection to our club. He is a responsible 200-foot player who can line up at centre or on the wing. Curtis brings energy, an ability to kill penalties and takes draws from the right side, which will be extremely valuable for our team.
Lazar will likely receive regular minutes in Vancouver, after proving he could handle them for the Boston Bruins this season. In 70 games, the 27-year-old scored eight goals and 16 points while racking up 186 hits. He’ll replace a player like Tyler Motte, who was traded away at the deadline, in bringing energy to the fourth line every night.
Joshua, meanwhile, was getting a good bit of attention in free agency because of his performance with the Springfield Thunderbirds in the Calder Cup playoffs. The 26-year-old forward had 15 points in 18 games, an impressive total given he hadn’t ever brought that kind of offense to the table in the past. His deal suggests he’ll also be in the mix for NHL minutes, though that is sort of a lottery ticket for the Canucks given how little experience he has to this point. Joshua has played in just 42 regular season NHL matches.
There was a time when Delia looked like he might be the next starting goaltender for the Chicago Blackhawks but now he appears to be nothing more than some minor league depth. In 32 career appearances at the NHL level, he has a .904 save percentage and just nine wins. With Spencer Martin installed as the full-time backup, Delia shouldn’t be spending much time with the Canucks this season.
Kalynuk, 25, could though, if he can show that the early promise he had in 2020-21 was for real. The former University of Wisconsin standout played 21 games for the Chicago Blackhawks that season and had nine points but was limited to mostly minor league work this year. There are a lot of names ahead of him on the Vancouver depth chart but it’s not like all of them are consistent performers.