Josh Leivo Signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Leivo skates with the puck.
DENVER, COLORADO - FEBRUARY 27: Josh Leivo #17 of the Vancouver Canucks skates in the overtime shoot out against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on February 27, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

News broke Friday afternoon that the Vancouver Canucks signed a 1-year, $1.5 million dollar deal with wing Josh Leivo. The team’s Twitter account announced the move shortly before noon CST.

Josh Leivo signs with Vancouver Canucks

Leivo was originally a third round selection by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2011 NHL Draft. His deal with Vancouver leaves the team with approximately $5.57 million in cap space to work with this summer.

Leivo had a solid 2018-19 campaign splitting time between Toronto and Vancouver. The 6’2″, 192 lb wing scored 14 goals and 24 points in 76 games while averaging 14:02 of ice time each night. His playing time increased by over five minutes a game when he was traded in December for Michael Carcone. The 24 points represents a career-high in scoring for the 26-year-old forward. That number pushes his career scoring numbers to 46 points in 133 games over six seasons.

Injuries have derailed what could have been a more productive early career. Leivo spent portions of several seasons on the injured reserve list, playing in fewer than 20 games each season prior to 2018-19. If he’s healthy, there’s reason to believe he can produce more than he has so far. He possesses a respectable 51.5 percent Corsi at even strength and a Relative Corsi of 2.5. Leivo’s size definitely makes him hard to push off the puck.

Leivo currently projects as a third or fourth-line guy. His potential line mates could include players such as Jake Virtanen, Brandon Sutter, or Sven Baertschi. There also also younger options from recent classes the team could explore for the NHL squad. The Canucks have been aggressive in improving their roster so far this summer, but Leivo should still crack the top-nine. He could also see decent time on the penalty kill.

What This Means For the Future

Vancouver doesn’t have much space to work with at this point. Their cap situation is getting tight, but there are certainly some quality free agents the team could pursue if it feels it is in a position to challenge the Pacific Division.

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