Vancouver Canucks Sign Erik Gudbranson to Contract Extension

Erik Gudbranson
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The Vancouver Canucks have signed defenceman Erik Gudbranson to a three-year contract extension worth $12 million. The deal carries an AAV or Cap Hit of $4 million per season. The team announced the move on their twitter account. Gudbranson, 26, was scheduled to be a restricted free agent this off-season. With the Canucks unlikely to make the playoffs, he had been involved in trade talks, but this deal seems to squash those rumours.

Vancouver Canucks Trade Erik Gudbranson to TEAM

Gudbranson was acquired by the Canucks in the spring of 2016 from the Florida Panthers. The deal involved forward Jared McCann and a second-round draft pick. Unfortunately, he has been plagued by injury, having played just 30 games for the Canucks in his first season. In that time, he scored one goal and six points. This season he has two goals and two assists for four points in 41 games. On his career, he has put up 14 goals and 39 assists for 53 points in 380 career games. In that same time period, he has accumulated 397 penalty minutes. Gudbranson has always struggled in the possession department with a 43.5 percent Corsi, and -6.5 relative Corsi this season.

The rugged defender was originally drafted third overall by the Panthers in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, behind forwards Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin.  He currently makes $3.5 million on a one-year contract. Additionally, Gudbranson has played just six playoff games in his career, all with the Panthers in 2015-16. He scored no points in that time. He has regularly been paired with Michael Del Zotto and Ben Hutton this season.

It was rumoured in the summer of 2017 that the Canucks had a deal with the Arizona Coyotes for Gudbranson. The deal would have sent Jason Demers to Vancouver, though it is reported that Demers turned down the deal via his No-Trade Clause.

Gudbranson’s Injuries

Most recently, Gudbranson missed time due to back spasms. He also missed 11 games earlier in the year with an upper-body injury. Through seven NHL seasons, he has yet to play a full campaign, with his highest total being 76 in 2014-15.

Gudbranson is one of a long list of Canucks defenders to have been injured this year. The group includes Alexander Edler, Troy Stecher, Chris Tanev, and Derrick Pouliot. Earlier in the season, Gudbranson was suspended one game for boarding Boston Bruins forward Frank Vatrano.