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Vancouver Canucks sign stars Pettersson, Hughes to multi-year contracts

News of the deals comes more than a week after the Canucks opened training camp in Abbotsford, B.C.
Vancouver Canucks’ Elias Pettersson (40), of Sweden, reaches for the puck in front of Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Friday, February 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The Vancouver Canucks have officially signed restricted free agents Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes to new contracts.

Pettersson signed a three-year deal worth US$7.35 million a year, while Hughes signed for six years at $7.85 million a year.

The Canucks announced the deals Sunday.

Pettersson quickly earned a reputation as a dynamic, high-scoring forward after entering the league in 2018 but a hyperextended wrist limited the 22-year-old to just 26 appearances and 21 points (10 goals, 11 assists) last season.

Hughes, 21, is known as a speedy play maker but struggled at times last year, tallying 41 points (three goals, 38 assists) in 56 games.

News of the deals comes more than a week after the Canucks opened training camp in Abbotsford, B.C.

Vancouver’s general manager Jim Benning said ahead of camp that he’d been working on deals for the duo for months and was disappointed they wouldn’t be there for the beginning.

“I don’t think we’re that far apart. But these are complex and unique deals,” he said. “These are two good, young players who are an important part of our group so we’re going to continue to work with (their agents) until we get something finished.”

Pettersson, a native of Sundsvall, Sweden, was picked fifth overall by Vancouver in the 2017 NHL entry draft and wasted little time making his impact on the league.

He put up 66 points (28 goals, 38 assists) in his first season and won the Calder Trophy, awarded annually to the league’s rookie of the year.

Pettersson had a solid sophomore campaign in the COVID-19 interrupted 2020 campaign, tallying another 66 points (27 goals and 39 assists) before adding another seven goals and 11 assists in 17 playoff games.

The Canucks selected Hughes seventh overall in the 2018 draft and the American blue liner registered 53 points (eight goals, 45 assists) in his rookie campaign in 2019-20. He was runner-up for the Calder that year.

Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press

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