The Vancouver Canucks announced today that Jacob Markstrom has signed a three-year contract extension with a cap hit of $3.67 million. His new deal doesn’t kick in until 2017-18, meaning he’s now locked up for the next four seasons.
“Jacob is a talented, competitive goaltender with size and a proven ability to make big saves at crucial moments in a game,” said GM Jim Benning. “He set career highs in several statistical categories last season and two years ago led the Comets to their first Calder Cup Final. He’s motivated and wants to help his team win. We’re excited to have Jacob competing in a Canucks uniform for years to come.”
It’s a nice deal for Markstrom, the 26-year-old who less than two years ago cleared waivers on his way to the AHL. He went 13-14-4 with a .915 save percentage last season for the Canucks.
While next season is set in Vancouver’s crease, it will be interesting to see what the Canucks do for a goaltending tandem in 2017-18. Ryan Miller can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, and highly touted prospect Thatcher Demko has yet to play a game as a professional; he’ll probably need more than one year in the AHL.
There’s also the expansion draft to consider. Per the rules, each team has to expose “one goaltender who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18. If the club elects to make a restricted free agent goaltender available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list.”
So, assuming Markstrom will be the goalie they choose to protect, they’ll have to get another goalie under contract for 2017-18, and they’ll have to do it before June 17, 2017.