On Wednesday, the Vancouver Canucks signed forward Micheal Ferland to a four-year deal. Here’s what the 27-year-old brings to the table.
Ferland, 27, scored 17 goals and 40 points in 71 games for the Carolina Hurricanes this past season. He played an integral role in helping the “Bunch of Jerks” reach the Eastern Conference Final — where they were swept by the Boston Bruins.
Back in January, Friedman reported that the Canucks were among the teams interested in Ferland. General manager Jim Benning wisely stayed away from acquiring a rental — instead waiting patiently and getting his man on a good contract.
Ferland spent his first four seasons with the Calgary Flames, tuning in a career year in 2017-18 with 21 goals and 41 points. In 2016-17, Ferland had 15 goals and 25 points. The production is fairly consistent.
It’s another big-time move by Benning, who already acquired top six forward J.T. Miller in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning — before signing bluliners Tyler Myers, Oscar Fantenberg and Jordie Benn.
Miller will likely play on the top line alongside Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser — so expect Ferland to slot onto the second line with Bo Horvat. Tanner Pearson developed excellent chemistry with No. 53 after coming over via trade midseason, but it’s likely that he’ll move down to the third line.
The Canucks currently have 16 forwards on the main roster, so Benning will need to start making room. Sending Schaller down would clear one spot, and as Shah noted, the Canucks could place Antoine Roussel on the long-term injured reserve if he’s still not cleared to play at the start of the season. And of course, the Canucks will likely continue to work on finding a way out of Loui Eriksson‘s contract.
But that’s all for another day. The main story here is that the Canucks add another top six forward at a reasonable price. If Ferland can maintain his usual production of 15-plus goals and 40-plus points, the Canucks will have taken care of their secondary scoring problems. This is one vastly improved top six, and it puts Vancouver a step further in their playoff push for 2020.