The Vancouver Canucks grabbed another Swedish free agent, this time 22-year-old righthanded defenceman Filip Johansson. The native of Vasteras was originally drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the 1st round, 24th overall in 2018.
“Filip plays a solid defensive game and has shown consistent improvement over the past three seasons.” said Vancouver Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin in the team’s official release. “He will continue to develop his game in Sweden with Frölunda next season, but we look forward to welcoming him to Vancouver for Development Camp at UBC next month.”
Johansson played his junior hockey and his first two seasons of pro in Allvin’s hometown of Leksands. He follows in the recent signing footsteps of forwards Nils Aman, a teammate of Johansson’s off and on for four seasons, and Linus Karlsson, whose rights were acquired in a deal with the San Jose Sharks in 2019.
All three players are the same age and all are on identical two year, two-way entry-level contracts.
Eastern Pond Hop
Headed the other direction is former Edmonton Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen, who now becomes a member of the HC Lugano team in Switzerland where he signed a two-year contract. In 164 games for the Oilers over four seasons the 33-year-old went 83-59-and-13 with a goals against average hovering around three.
Koskinen made $4.5-million per season with a modified no-trade clause for the last three seasons in a contract signed by outgoing Edmonton GM Peter Chiarelli back on January 21st, 2019.
With 40-year-old Mike Smith unsure about his future, current Oilers GM Ken Holland has his work cut out for him in taking care of the most important position on the ice.
Speaking of … based on the match-up between the pipes in the Stanley Cup Final, one would love the chances of the Tampa Bay Lightning three-peating as champs. Andrei Vasilevskiy is the best goalie in the world at the moment while the Colorado Avalanche haven’t quite decided who’s starting; regular season number-one Darcy Kuemper or the man who replaced him in the Conference Final when he was hurt, Pavel Francouz.
Make a decision lads, the Final starts in Denver on Wednesday night.
Lauzon Loves Nashville
And Nashville loves Jeremy Lauzon, so they signed the lefty defenceman to a four year deal at $2-million per season on Monday. Third pair or not, he plays a physical game at 6-1, 205 pounds, plays both sides of the ice and just turned 25 in April. The Seattle Kraken traded Lauzon to the Predators at the trade deadline for a second round pick. He fits the ‘Smashville’ team identity.
“At just 25 years old, he’s helped us further reach our goal of getting younger and he is thrilled about the opportunity to continue to improve and develop with our organization and in the city of Nashville,” Predators GM David Poile said in a statement.
And Speaking of D-men
Here’s three Vancouver Canucks defencemen we’ve reviewed recently as part of our roll calls.