The VancouverCanucks have further extended their goaltending depth with the signing of 2019 draft pick Arturs Silovs.
The Vancouver Canucks have signed the first of their 2019 NHL Entry Draft picks.
No, it was not first-rounder Vasily Podkolzin, who has two more years on his KHL contract. Neither was it highly skilled second-rounder Nils Hoglander, who has returned to the SHL; much like Elias Petterson did in his draft plus one year.
The Canucks announced Friday afternoon that they have signed 18-year-old netminder Arturs Silovs to an entry-level contract. Silovs played for HS Riga in Latvia as well as the KHL’s Dinamo Riga. Through 20 games with HS Riga in 2018-19. season, Silovs posted a .914 save percentage, a good number for such a young netminder.
He is no small guy, at 6-foot-3, 213 pounds. The young goaltender fits to profile of the modern NHL goalie. He has showcased his skill set not only with his club teams, but on the international youth level as well. Silovs was a member of the U18 IIHF World Championship Latvian team last season. Although he was very strong in that tournament, he has not participated in any summer or showcase tournaments this offseason.
Silovs will likely continue to play and develop in Europe, rather than coming over to North America in 2019-20. He did not enter the Canadian Hockey League import draft, therefore technically could join the Utica Comets or Kalamazoo Wings — as he is not bound the CHL/NHL player agreement.
The goaltending situation in Vancouver’s minor league system is already pretty packed with names such as Richard Bachman, Jake Kielly, Michael DiPietro and Zane McIntyre — so the newly signed Latvian would be hard-pressed to find any playing time in North America.
Silovs is a long way from starting in the Canucks crease. However, the entry-level deal is the first step in what will hopefully be a successful NHL career.