Brendan Gaunce inks 2-year extension with Canucks

Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire

The Vancouver Canucks announced on Wednesday that they have come to terms with restricted free agent Brendan Gaunce, bringing him back on a two-year, one-way deal with the Pacific Division club.

Per Ryan Biech via Twitter, the deal will pay out $750,000 per season until the end of the 2018-19 campaign, at which point he’ll become a restricted free agent once again.

Drafted 26th overall by the Canucks in 2012, Gaunce skated for the OHL’s Belleville Bulls and Erie Otters before going pro with Vancouver in 2014.

He put up just 29 points in 74 games during his first campaign, playing exclusively at the AHL level with the Utica Comets, but his offensive production had a major uptick the following season. He was good for 38 points in just 46 games for Utica that year, earning a 20-game stint with Vancouver in the NHL as well before the year was over.

His production this past year was a bit of a disappointment, as he made the leap almost exclusively to the NHL level. He was good for just five assists in 57 regular-season games, failing to record a goal and earning himself a four-game AHL stint as well. Now, he’ll look to improve on his consistency at the highest level of play, doing so on the one-way deal he just put to paper with his club.

With this deal signed, the Canucks have just one contract left to get under wraps, but it certainly won’t be easy. With Bo Horvat still unsigned for the upcoming season, expect the two sides to continue negotiating for a while to see if a bridge deal is more lucrative, or if a long-term contract is what makes sense.

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