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Petan, Bailey, Dries & Di Giuseppe sign two-way deals with the Canucks

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That’s 13 signings by Jim Benning so far today.

AHL: MAR 14 Toronto Marlies at Laval Rocket
Look on Toronto Marlies left wing Nic Petan (61) during the Toronto Marlies versus the Laval Rocket game on March 14, 2021, at Bell Centre in Montreal, QC
Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’ve written so far about nine signings by the Canucks on the opening day of free agency. Catch up on any of them below.

Now, let’s add four more to the list, all of the depth forward variety. In fairness, all four of these players should push the likes of Matthew Highmore and Zack MacEwen for roster spots in the NHL once training camps open.

Nic Petan joins the Canucks

The 26-year-old Petan joins the Canucks on a salary that will see him make a good chunk of money in the AHL.

The Delta, BC native is one of those classic tweeners, who is probably too good for the AHL, but isn’t good enough to play in the top six for an NHL team. He’s also not a penalty killer of a matchup guy, which is why he’s toiled between the AHL and NHL throughout his career.

Petan had 15 points in 14 games for the Toronto Marlies last season, and had one assist in seven games for the Leafs

Justin Bailey returns

The 2021 season was bad for almost everyone in the Canucks organization, and that includes Justin Bailey.

The 26-year-old was hit from behind by Milan Lucic on his third NHL game of the season. The apparent shoulder injury kept him out for the rest of the season.

Bailey has played five games for the Canucks over the last two seasons, and earned a spot on the taxi squad out of training camp last year. He’ll probably end up in Abbotsford, but could he realistically beat Highmore of MacEwen for a spot on the Canucks out of camp? I wouldn’t rule it out.

Dries & Di Guiseppe add to Canucks forward depth

Two other guys with NHL games on their resume have joined the Canucks as well.

27-year-old Sheldon Dries has reportedly joined the Canucks after three years in the Colorado Avalanche organization.

Based on the Canucks suspect centre depth behind Sutter, there’s a good chance that Dries could see some NHL games next season.

Finally, of all four players on this list, no one played more games last season than Phil Di Guiseppe. The 27-year-old has signed a one-year, two-way contract worth $750,000 in the NHL, and $450,000 in the AHL.

The left-winger had one goal and eight points in 31 games for the New York Rangers last season.