The Vancouver Canucks have come to an agreement with another one of their restricted free agents, signing forward Josh Leivo to a one-year contract worth $1.5MM. Leivo was eligible for salary arbitration, and will be an unrestricted free agent when this contract expires. GM Jim Benning explained what he likes about Leivo’s game:
Josh made a positive addition to our roster last year. He has a versatile game, is a strong two-way player and generates offence throughout our lineup. We’re excited to have Josh sign as a member of the Vancouver Canucks.
Ending up in Vancouver was the chance of a lifetime for Leivo, who had been previously stuck in a difficult situation with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite showing strong offensive numbers whenever he got the chance to play, Leivo was strapped to a press box seat on a nightly basis. He ended up playing just 34 games at any level over a two-year span between 2016-18, wasting two key years of his prime.
Now with the Canucks, he’s trying to make up for that lost time. After a trade from the Maple Leafs mid-season took him to the west coast, he was given the opportunity to play with some of the team’s best players and quickly started producing. While that rate didn’t continue for the whole year, he did finish with 18 points in 49 games for the Canucks. Add that to his 27 games in a Toronto sweater to start the year and Leivo more than doubled his NHL experience in one season. With a new one-year deal in his back pocket he’ll try to contribute even more and set himself up for a multi-year contract next summer.