Last month, the Canucks lost Nikita Tryamkin as he returned to Russia and the KHL.
On Wednesday, they managed to hold onto another towering defenseman in their organization, signing Andrey Pedan to a one-year, two-way contract extension.
The 23-year-old Pedan was placed on waivers last October and spent all of last season in the minors, playing 52 games with five goals, 10 points and 100 penalty minutes for the Utica Comets, coached by Travis Green, who was recently promoted to the head coaching position in Vancouver.
“Andrey had a good season in Utica and we’re pleased to re-sign him,” said Canucks GM Jim Benning in a statement. “He adds depth to our defense and his speed, size and physicality gives our coaching staff more options to compete every night.”
With the loss of Tryamkin and Philip Larsen to the KHL, and the potential for other spots on the blue line to open up through the expansion draft or off-season trades, the six-foot-five-inch, 213-pound Pedan should get an opportunity to try to land a roster spot when the rebuilding Canucks begin next season.
Pedan played 13 games for the Canucks in 2015-16. He certainly has a familiarity with Green, who sees NHL potential in the left-shooting blue liner.