Thomas Vanek signed a one-year, $2 million pact with Vancouver on Friday.
The 33-year-old winger is coming off a respectable campaign with 17 goals and 48 points through 68 games. Obviously, injuries cut into his production, but Vanek posted a high-end 2.81 points per 60 minutes at five-on-five while with Detroit. Those even-strength numbers are an indicator that the veteran can still move the offensive needle.
He projects to slot into a top-six role with the Canucks, and he should see enough power-play time to provide supporting fantasy results in deeper settings. The juicy spot in Vancouver has been alongside Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin in the past, but Vanek isn't a legitimate fit with the two Swedes entering 2017-18. However, where Vanek slides into the lineup is completely up in the air. Bo Horvat, Loui Eriksson and potentially Sam Gagner check out as the other veterans capable of slotting into scoring-line roles, and the question marks are whether Vancouver's youngsters can carve out jobs to push the mediocre veteran talent down the depth chart.
The addition of Vanek hurts the fantasy stocks of Brock Boeser and Sven Baertschi, and Sam Gagner could also be impacted. While Vanek's 2016-17 showing proved he can still be a serviceable secondary scorer, it wouldn't be shocking if he failed to repeat last season's excellent five-on-five production.
Vanek doesn't project to boost the fantasy upside of any of his new teammates. In fact, it's another questionable acquisition considering the Canucks just added another mediocre talent in his mid-30s. In most settings, Vanek is a fringe option with the potential to provide modest offensive numbers with little peripheral contributions.