The Vancouver Canucks have already made their first big splash of the offseason with the deal that helped them acquire defenseman Erik Gudbranson from the Florida Panthers.
Now, they’ve made a smaller move, but still showed that the team is already under way with their offseason negotiations.
Per TSN’s Frank Seravalli, the Canucks have extended pending free agent Sven Baertschi on a two year deal. The new contract will pay $1.7 million next season and $2.0 million in the 2017-18 campaign, leaving Baertschi with a cap hit of $1.85 million for each of the two years of his new contract.
Drafted 13th overall by the Calgary Flames in 2011, the 23-year-old Baertschi was dealt to Vancouver for a second round pick at the 2015 trade deadline. The Swiss forward spent his first full year at the NHL level during his 2015-16 campaign, putting up 15 goals and 28 points in a nice 69-game season. A former Portland Winterhawks alumnus of the WHL, Baertschi had a strong enough year last season to warrant the two year extension, although the bridge nature of the deal likely suggests that the Canucks are still hoping there is more development on the way.
This isn’t the only deal the Canucks will need to make in their offseason, but it’s a cost-effective contract for a player who showed promise last season. For Vancouver, that is very good news.