Teams had until June 1 to sign their 2011 draft picks. Players who are 20 years old and younger and not signed by this date would re-enter the NHL Entry Draft. Those older than 20 would become unrestricted free agents. Honzik will be re-entering the 2013 draft while Westerholm becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Honzik and Westerholm were among eight players selected by the Canucks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The others were Nicklas Jensen (29th overall), Alexandre Grenier (90th overall), Joseph Labate (101st overall), Ludwig Blomstrand (120th overall), Frank Corrado (150th overall), and Henrik Tommernes (210th overall).
The latter six players have entry-level contracts with the Canucks with the exception of Labate, who will return to the Wisconsin Badgers this fall for his junior college season. The Canucks have until 30 days after Labate’s college career ends to sign him.
Honzik was drafted by the Canucks after a sensational performance with the Victoriaville Tigres in the playoffs. He has been unable to duplicate his success and his development has been stagnated by a serious shoulder injury that caused him to miss training camp and the first 18 games of the season.
In 27 starts this season, Honzik managed only four wins, a 4.40 goals against average, and .873 save percentage. Obviously not strong enough to earn a contract from the Canucks. He is expected to return to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles for his overage season where the Canucks can continue to track his development.