The Vancouver Canucks and Abbotsford Canucks will see a bit more of forwards Sheldon Dries and John Stevens and defenceman Guillaume Brisebois as all three signed two-way contract extensions with the franchise as announced Monday.
Dries was a machine last season at the American Hockey League level, scoring 35 goals, 4th best in the AHL, with a career high 62 points in 54 games. His efforts earned him a call-up to the Vancouver Canucks at the end of the 2021-’22 season for the final nine games, to add to the two he played for the big club in January. He had sound possession analytics with limited ice time.
Undrafted out of Western Michigan University, Dries (pronounced as it’s spelled, as in ‘dries a towel’) first played as an unaffiliated free agent with Texas of the AHL for a year, before signing with the Colorado Avalanche in the summer of 2018, earning 59 NHL games and tallying nine points over the next three seasons.
Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning signed the free agent Michigander last July 28th. The current regime apparently appreciates the 5-foot-9, 180-pound lefty forward’s efforts; they gave Dries a two-year, two-way deal that will pay him $762,500 at the NHL level and $450,000 when playing for Abbotsford.
Stevens is another 28-year-old, undrafted, lefty center our of college hockey, Northeastern University in Boston for the Springfield, Massachusetts native. He skated and grinded his way to 43 points and 72 penalty minutes in 68 games last season for Abbotsford. He’s yet to play an NHL game during his five full pro seasons.
At 6-2, 205 pounds, Stevens brings that size and physicality to the equation and likes to go hard to the net. He bettered his single-season career high point total by a margin of 24, with 19 of his 43 points being goals.
Over a four year span, left-shot defenceman Brisebois has made it into ten NHL games for the Vancouver Canucks, including one this past season on December 16th at the San Jose Sharks. He’s looking for his first NHL point. The 6-foot-2 native of Longueuil, Quebec signed for one season, as did Stevens.