The Vancouver Canucks have done as expected and signed critical young defender Quinn Hughes to a new contract. The team’s offseason has already involved plenty of interesting transactions, but it is now headlined by retaining perhaps the most important young player on the team going forward. Following up Sportsnet TV analyst Satiar Shah report of a six-year deal, Hughes will make $7.85 million a season.
As per myself and @DarrenDreger, the Canucks have agreed to terms and AAV on Pettersson and Hughes. But deals still to be finalized.
Here are the deals, per sources:
Pettersson, three x $7.35M AAV
Hughes, six x $7.85M AAV
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 1, 2021
Canucks Extend Quinn Hughes
Hughes wasn’t as outstanding in 2020-21 as he was in 2019-20, but it was still a productive season. He followed up last year’s eight goals and 53 points in 68 games with three and 41 in 56 this year. It was fewer points in fewer games, but the per-game rate was still .73. That is more than acceptable when you combine it with a 57.6 percent Corsi For and 16.8 relative Corsi. Canucks fans should mostly worry about how the front office is going to support Hughes rather than what he is doing individually.
The Canucks drafted Hughes seventh overall in the 2018 Draft. He has rewarded that faith by developing into one of the half-dozen best young defencemen in the entire NHL. He may not challenge for awards every year like Cale Makar or Adam Fox, but he isn’t far off their pace either. Hughes will be a star for years to come.
What Vancouver Does Next
The Canucks had two big priorities this offseason. One was extending Hughes. The other is retaining Elias Pettersson despite the latter’s injuries. Of course, there were a handful of other players scheduled for free agency, but none quite as vital as the aforementioned defencemen.
Vancouver is in an interesting candidate for a bounceback this year. They stumbled badly in 2020-21 with a roster that spent far too much on its depth players. Though, having brought in former stars Henrik and Daniel Sedin, hopefully, that leads to smarter roster construction as they move forward.
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