The Vancouver Canucks have signed 21 year old defenceman Jeremie Blain to a three-year entry-level contract, according to a French-language newspaper last week.
— Sportsnet Pacific (@SNETPacific) June 24, 2013
Blain is a former 4th round, 91st overall pick of the Edmonton Oilers in 2010, but the Oilers did not sign him. He attended the Canucks prospect development camp last summer as a free agent and joined the Chicago Wolves for the 2012-13 season on an American Hockey League contract.
He split time with the Wolves and the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads, where Blain put up 31 points in 47 games. He put up four assists in 25 games with the Wolves.
Blain’s calling cards are his physicality, his effort level, and a nice set of offensive tools. He has good size and uses it well, and is a leader on his junior team. There are areas to improve upon, mostly when it comes to mobility and defensive awareness and positioning, however he has a lot of nice tools to work with.
Blain has much of the skill set of a tough, top four, offensive minded blueliner. He already delivers on both the power play and even strength from a scoring standpoint, is a willing combatant, and loves getting his nose dirty. If he’s able to pick his skating and defensive play up by a couple notches, he could well be a quality 2nd pairing rearguard who can contribute with the man advantage. Failing that and he may not be more than a depth defenseman when all is said and done.