The Canucks signed one of their remaining restricted free agents on Wednesday.
No, it wasn’t Bo Horvat.
The Canucks announced a two-year, one-way contract with forward Brendan Gaunce. The deal comes with an annual average value of $750,000.
Vancouver’s first-round pick in 2012, the now 23-year-old Gaunce appeared in 57 games for the Canucks last season, recording five assists.
At 6-foot-2 tall and 217 pounds, he can play both the wing and center, while bringing an element of size and physical play to Vancouver’s group of bottom six forwards.
The organization would probably like to get more offense out of him next season, and perhaps having Travis Green — the former Utica Comets bench boss when Gaunce was in the midst of his most productive AHL season — coach in Vancouver will help.
His season came to an end in early March because of a shoulder injury. The club announced several weeks later in April that Gaunce would have shoulder surgery with a recovery timeline of four to six months.
With Gaunce now signed, the Canucks have one remaining restricted free agent to get under contract. That would be Horvat, the 22-year-old center who took a major step forward in his development last season and is due for a substantial raise.
With Gaunce signed, the Canucks should have about $7.375 million remaining in cap space.