Why the Vancouver Canucks are so high on Josh Teves

The Vancouver Canucks announced the signing of Josh Teves earlier today, just a day after general manager Jim Benning said he planned to talk to a few NCAA free agents that could help out the backend — Teves, a late bloomer, can certainly help out the Canucks’ blue line.

The Vancouver Canucks blue line has without a doubt been the team’s greatest weakness this season. To help out their struggles on the back end, the Canucks welcomed on six-foot-one Princeton University left-handed defenceman Josh Teves

Teves, 24, has spent the last four seasons with Princeton and has spent time serving as the captain. Teves is a solid puck-moving defenceman that the Canucks already have ties with, as he was invited to the Canucks development camp last Summer.

As per The Province’s Patrick Johnston, the Canucks signed Teves to a one-year deal and he will join the team immediately. This means he will get a new contract this summer, as his contract will expire in April. He will be a restricted free agent when the contract expires, so will remain under club control.

Benning was excited about the signing of Teves, saying “He’s a smart two-way defenceman; always makes good decisions with the puck. A good passer. He’s a little bit older (24), so physically he’s mature.”

The reason Teves went undrafted was that he is a self-proclaimed late bloomer. Daniel Wagner of the Vancouver Courier wrote an excellent piece on Teves last summer when he was an invitee to Canucks development camp. In that piece, there’s a quote where Teves explains where he was at in his development leading up to his draft year.

Teves said, “I went to a really academic-focused school in Calgary and it wasn’t until later in life that I got into more competitive hockey. I was cut from teams plenty of times, which made me just push that much harder to play at that high level.”

In his draft year, Teves was playing AAA midget hockey in Alberta and as a result, went undrafted. The scouting report on Teves now is that he is a smooth skater and an excellent passer who can generate offence and isn’t afraid to jump up and join in on the rush.

He is exactly the type of player the Canucks want, as has been praised for his character and strong work ethic by former coaches and teammates. We all know how much Benning and co. like adding hardworking character guys to the team.

Because of his character and work ethic along with his skating and passing abilities, and it becomes clear as to why the Canucks are so high on the signing of the late-blooming Teves.

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The Canucks are hoping that Teves can be another successful college free agent signing for them, much like Richmond native Troy Stecher has turned out to be. Teves will report to the Canucks and it will be interesting to see how both he and Quinn Hughes will be deployed in this final stretch of games.

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