Canucks News & Rumors: Boeser, Rathbone, Yeo & More

Welcome to the latest edition of the Vancouver Canucks News & Rumors. The Canucks extend Brock Boeser to a three-year deal, while Jack Rathbone also gets an extension. Meanwhile, the Canucks added to their coaching staff by adding Mike Yeo as an assistant coach.

Boeser Signs Extension

The Canucks announced they agreed to terms with forward Brock Boeser on a three-year deal with an average annual value of $6.65 million on Friday. The final year of his contract has a limited no-trade protection.

Brock Boeser Vancouver Canucks
Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

“We’re very happy to have worked out a new deal for Brock,” said Allvin. “He is a very talented player and has been an effective goal scorer throughout his entire career. We look forward to seeing his game progress in the years to come.”

Boeser has scored 121 goals in 324 games, posting four 20-goal seasons in his five-year career. After a tough start to the 2021-22 season, he finished strong with 23 goals and 46 points in 71 games. He also led the club in points during the 2020-21 season, posting 49 points in 56 games.

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The deal is a win-win for both sides. For Boeser, he wants to stay in Vancouver, and the deal only buys into one unrestricted free agent (UFA) season. It gives him enough time to bounce back and prove he deserves a bigger deal at the age of 28. For the Canucks, they avoid Boeser’s $7.5 million qualification offer, which they weren’t sure the forward deserved, and have him on an affordable contract.

Rathbone Re-Signs

Along with Boeser, the Canucks signed their top prospect in Rathbone. He signed a one-way two-year deal with an AAV of $850,000. The 25-year-old defenceman played 39 games with the Abbotsford Canucks in the American Hockey League (AHL). He scored 10 goals, added 30 assists and posted 40 points, leading all defencemen on the team in each category.

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The Athletic’s Thomas Drance notes the Canucks are high on Rathbone but know he has room to grow if he’s going to become an impactful piece for the team (from ‘Canucks notebook: Inside the Brock Boeser compromise, Jack Rathbone’s deal and more,’ The Athletic, July 1, 2022). They were disappointed Rathbone was unable to play on the main roster last season due to the amount of injuries to forwards. The organization was impressed by his growth, professionalism and all-around work rate while he played in Abbotsford. He will serve as either a third-pairing defenceman or even a second pairing if Oliver Ekman-Larsson ends up playing on the right side.

Canucks Add Yeo and Cull to Coaching Staff

The Canucks announced more changes to their coaching staff last Friday. Yeo has been brought on as an assistant coach, while Trent Cull has been promoted to assistant coach. Also, Brad Shaw will be leaving the organization to join the Philadelphia Flyers as an associate coach.

Mike Yeo, Philadelphia Flyers
Mike Yeo, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

“I am so excited to help bring this group of coaches together,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau. “When I started the conversations with Mike Yeo, it became clear to me that he would be an excellent addition. Working with Patrik to create a well-rounded staff was very important for us as we look to continue to build upon the momentum we experienced last season.” 

Yeo served as the head coach of the Minnesota Wild from 2011-12 to 2015-16 and the St. Louis Blues from 2016-17 to 2018-19. He last served as an assistant coach with the Flyers in 2020-21 and served as an interim head coach for the remainder of the 2021-22 season. Additionally, Jeremy Colliton will take over for Cull as the head coach in Abbotsford.

“Trent Cull did an excellent job for us at the AHL level, and I am so happy to see him get this much deserved promotion,” said Abbotsford’s general manager Ryan Johnson. “Bringing in Jeremy Colliton to build on the things we have started in Abbotsford is a huge win for the organization. Jeremy has a great head for the game, and I look forward to working with him this coming season.” 

Update on Other Canucks Free Agents

Along with Rathbone, the Canucks announced they signed defenceman Noah Juulsen and forward William Lockwood on two-way contracts. The Canucks acquired Juulsen last season from the Florida Panthers, but he spent the season in Abbotsford. The 25-year-old played 50 games with the club, scoring three goals and posting 16 points. Lockwood is 24 years old and played 46 games in Abbotsford. He scored nine goals and posted 25 points. The forward will likely get an opportunity to crack the opening day roster at training camp. 

Rick Dhaliwal provided an update on other Canucks free agents as well. UFA defenceman Brad Hunt will be exploring options, while Delta, B.C. native Nic Petan will not be re-signed by the club. Dhaliwal also noted talks are ongoing between the Canucks and restricted free agent Juho Lammikko. Lammikko played well as the team’s fourth-line centre last season.