The Canucks have made their first “big” signing during NHL free agency.
Salmon Arm, BC native Curtis Lazar is joining the Vancouver Canucks on a three-year deal worth $1 million per season, according to Elliotte Friedman.
$1M AAV— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 13, 2022
The Canucks were previously rumoured to have interest in Lazar, according to CHEK TV’s Rick Dhaliwal.
No tampering though, of course.
Lazar has gone through an interesting career arc. Expectations were high for the youngster after he was the 17th overall selection by the Ottawa Senators back in 2013. He elevated those expectations after two impressive World Juniors showings, including when he captained Canada to gold over Russia in 2015.
However, he never blossomed into a legit, top-six centre at the NHL level.
Nonetheless, Lazar has carved out an NHL niche as a bottom-six energy player.
The 27-year-old posted eight goals and 16 points in 70 games for the Boston Bruins last season. Those eight goals were a career-high.
He spent a good amount of time at centre at well, winning 48.9% of his faceoffs. It’s also worth noting that Lazar is a right-shot centre, which fills a major organizational need.
Lazar has also turned into a reliable penalty killer as well. He’s spent the last three seasons between the Bruins and Buffalo Sabres in a penalty-killing role.