The Vancouver Canucks have just announced the signing of right-handed defenceman Brogan Rafferty. Earlier today, the team signed goaltender Jake Kielly.
Kielly has just wrapped up his third season with Clarkson University. In the last two seasons with Clarkson, Kielly has posted a .929 save percentage, and played in 39 games each season.
The Minnesota native is currently nominated for the Hobey Baker Award this year, awarded to the NCAA’s top player. He was nominated for the award last year, as well. On top of that, he is also up for the Mike Richter award, awarded to the best Division 1 goaltender in the NCAA.
Canucks’ general manager Jim Benning said that Kielly has had an outstanding collegiate career and will add further depth to the team’s goaltending. At just 22 years of age, Kielly is just a year younger than current Canucks’ backup goaltender, Thatcher Demko.
As per CapFriendly, the deal for Kielly is two years (this year included), with an annual average salary of $925,000. Kielly is with the team in Vancouver right now.
The second signing of the day is a young defenceman who will provide the Canucks with more depth on the right side of their blueline — something they definitely lack.
Brogan Rafferty is obviously not as highly touted as Josh Teves was, but he has been getting attention from NHL scouts since his freshman year with Quinnipiac University. Not to be confused with the teenage serial killer from Ohio (who was the first person who popped up when I googled Rafferty’s name), Rafferty can move the puck well and has solid playmaking abilities.
Sportsnet’s Rick Dhaliwal reported that Rafferty is currently on his way to Vancouver right now. Dhaliwal also mentioned that he would not be surprised to see Rafferty play a game or two for the Canucks before this season ends. He is on a one-year deal like Teves, so will need to be re-signed this offseason. He will be an unrestricted free agent.
Just a few weeks ago, the Canucks signed Teves, and now, have added two more collegiate players to the organization. Who knows, they may not even be done yet, either.
Like most late-season NCAA signings, these are harmless moves made by Benning, and there’s little to no reason not to like these signings. Hopefully Rafferty, in particular, shows well if he is given a chance to play, but only time will tell if he is given that opportunity. What do you think of the signings? Let me know in the comments section below!