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Wake With Elias: Rathbone signs & Canucks draw Jets in exhibition

It is indeed a good morning in Vancouver.

2017 NHL Draft - Portraits
Jack Rathbone, 95th overall pick of the Vancouver Canucks, poses for a portrait during the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center on June 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Good morning Canucks fans!

And what a good morning it should be. Let’s get to the good news that transpired yesterday in this market.

Jack Rathbone signs his ELC with Canucks

When the league opened up a three-day window to sign prospects on Monday, all of the attention in Vancouver turned to Jack Rathbone.

The sophomore defenceman at Harvard swiftly passed the likes of Olli Juolevi and Jett Woo to become the Canucks best prospect on defence, after a season where he posted seven goals and 31 points in 28 games for Harvard.

On Tuesday though, he took a step towards becoming an NHL player by signing his three-year entry level deal, with a base salary of $925,000 per season, according to Cap Friendly.

It’s worth noting that Rathbone’s contract starts this season, although he isn’t eligible to play for the Canucks until the start of 2020-21. The same thing goes for all prospects who have signed during this window, including Kirill Kaprizov of the Minnesota Wild.

We talked earlier about how Rathbone was stuck in limbo, and there’s certainly still questions about where he’ll play next season. If the AHL starts back up, that’s the most likely destination for Rathbone. There’s also playing in Europe, but of course the most intriguing option is sticking with the Canucks next season.

He’s a low cost option who could realistically play on the Canucks bottom pairing next year. Scouts will say he needs to work on his defensive game, but there is top-four upside in this player, something the Canucks sorely lack among their defence prospects.

Finally, Cam Robinson painted a picture for Canucks fans on Dobber Prospects about the future of the defence after the team signed Rathbone.

“Rathbone led all college defenders in shots-per-game (3.36) and was third in points-per-game (1.11),” Robinson writes. “The left-side on the third-pairing is wide open for next season. He’ll have as good a chance to take it as Olli Juolevi or Jordie Benn. Long term, think Samuel Girard playing behind Cale Makar. Quinn Hughes will eat up the prime power-play ice, but Rathbone could and should be effective in a secondary role.”

Canucks draw Jets in exhibition

More hockey announcements? More hockey announcements.

The NHL released their exhibition schedule on Tuesday, with all 24 teams getting on tune-up game before the results start to matter on August 1st.

Two weeks today, the Canucks will draw the Jets, with a 7:30 pm start time out West.

I think this goes for hockey fans everywhere, but I don’t think I’ve seen a more enticing exhibition schedule in my entire life.

Let’s. Go.

While you’re at it...

  • Nick Bondi had Jeff Paterson on the Power of the Towel podcast, which dropped yesterday here on the Nucks Misconduct network.

Seriously, if you haven’t yet listened to Power of the Towel, go check it out. Nick has been an awesome addition to the team here, and he’s done a great job of engaging and bringing the best out of all his guests. [Nucks Misconduct Podcast Network]

  • The Canucks are in cap hell, so what would you do to fix it? Westy gets into it and offers his suggestions [Nucks Misconduct]
  • Farhan Lalji did a video report on Tyler Toffoli maintaining his spot on the top line over Brock Boeser [TSN]
  • Finally, remember that Golden Boy Elias Pettersson does have some playoff experience. [Sportsnet]