Jett Woo's development with the Canucks now takes on added urgency

Jett Woo gets a new deal, as the Vancouver Canucks hope he can finally fulfil the potential which saw him selected in the second round of the 2018 draft.
Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks
Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks / Marissa Baecker/GettyImages

Jett Woo has yet to truly show what he's capable of, but the Vancouver Canucks aren't going to give up on him just yet. As per the Canadian Press via Sportsnet, he agreed a one-year, two-way contract extension on Sunday.

The contract comes with a $775,000 cap hit at the NHL level, less than Woo's previous three-year deal which had an annual cap hit of $860,833. Open to interpretation, the main thing is that the Canucks remain hopeful that he is still has a lot more to offer.

Selected in the second round of the 2018 NHL entry draft at 37th overall, the reality is that Woo has yet to develop as much as anticipated. In fact, he's one of 12 second rounders from that year's draft who have yet to make their NHL debut.

So close but yet so far

Woo was actually called up twice by the Canucks this season during February, but ultimately didn't get to play. However, the fact he was even called up at all, alludes to him making progress and showing something the Canucks liked.

In this respect the 2023-24 campaign was Woo's best yet at the AHL level, his third with the Abbotsford Canucks. He equalled a career-high of seven goals, while setting new personal bests with 24 assists and 31 total points, which were most among all team defencemen.

(In terms of Woo's AHL career as a whole, he has produced 65 points and a +18 rating in 200 games. Previously in the WHL, he recorded 160 points and a +60 rating in 242 combined games.)

In fact it could have been even better, if Woo hadn't suffered a serious ankle injury towards the conclusion of the AHL regular season. it ended his campaign and kept him out of the playoffs.

Regardless, it was a positive season for Woo overall, which has understandably pleased the Canucks organisation. He has the potential to be a future top-four -- maybe even top-two -- pairing in the NHL, with his combination of physicality, offensive talent, high hockey IQ and just all-around ability at both ends of the ice.

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In fact, you can argue next season will now be even more crucial for Woo's development and potential to finally make his NHL debut. With Nikita Zadorov now not re-signing in Vancouver, the need for as much quality blue-line help as possible has become even more important.

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