The Vancouver Canucks have signed Micheal Ferland to a four-year contract worth 3.5 million per season.
The Canucks Receive: A versatile, hard-hitting winger who can play on either side of the dot. The 27-year-old has played at a 45-point pace in each of the last two seasons – recording a career-high 21 goals in 2017-18. The bulk of his offensive production has come along with prime deployment. He thrust onto the scene when he found a home next to Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan in Calgary. The followed that up by playing almost exclusively next to Sebastian Aho during the first half of 2018-19. When taken out of those situations, and the power-play ice that came along with them, his production shrivelled.
Fortunately, there appears to be a ready-made-spot for Ferland in Vancouver's top six. He will likely be pencilled in on the right-side of Bo Horvat with Tanner Pearson or Sven Baertschi flanking the left. That line should provide plenty of matchup headaches. It will be overly difficult for him to pry any top power-play deployment, but he should get a spot on the second unit. This signing all but assures Jake Virtanen plays outside of the top six.
There's always a chance that fellow newcomer, JT Miller doesn't fit perfectly next to Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser on line one – in which case, Ferland may get his turn with the big boys – a far more intriguing position for fantasy owners.
The Canucks were keenly aware that their roster lacked any sort of pushback with Antoine Roussel on the shelf until at least Christmas with a knee injury. Ferland will more than fill the gap. When at his best, the former WHL standout plays with speed and tenacity. He's a proven pugilist who has displayed the capability of averaging over 2.5 hits per game. He's also not afraid to back up his play as indicated by his six fighting majors last season. While he plays a robust style, he doesn't often end up in the penalty box too often. His 58 penalty minutes in 2018-19 represented a career-high.
Vancouver has just 5.5 million in cap space to sign Boeser and Nikolay Goldobin. Once signed, they will have 16 forwards on the books for next season. Clearly, more than a few things will have to shake out between now and puck drop in October. Expectations are that Loui Eriksson and his six million dollar tag will be out the door once a sizable bonus is paid out on July 15.
It was expected that Ferland would not return to Carolina and as such, this signing doesn't impact the Hurricanes depth chart much. Andrei Svechnikov is now the top left-wing, and perhaps Erik Haula absorbs the other top-six position.
Players this helps (In order)
1. Andrei Svechnikov
2. Micheal Ferland
3. Bo Horvat
Players this hurts (In order)
1. Jake Virtanen
2. Sven Baertschi
3. Nikolay Goldobin
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