VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks have signed Brandon Sutter to a five-year contract extension at an average annual value of US$4.375 per season.
The club acquired the six-foot-three, 190-pound centre and a third-round pick in 2016 from the Pittsburgh Penguins last Tuesday for Nick Bonino, Adam Clendening and a 2016 second-round pick.
Sutter, who has a cap hit of $3.3 million in 2015-16, was set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, but is now under contract through the 2020-21 season.
The 26-year-old had 21 goals, 12 assists and 14 penalty minutes in 80 games in mostly a third-line role with Pittsburgh last season behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Sutter also finished with a team-leading 50.6 per cent faceoff efficiency and tied for second in the NHL with four short-handed goals.
It’s expected that he will be given every opportunity by Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins to be Vancouver’s No. 2 centre behind Henrik Sedin when training camp starts next month.
Canucks general manager Jim Benning said after last week’s trade that he viewed Sutter – the son of former NHL player and coach Brent Sutter – as “a foundation piece for our group.”
In 495 career NHL games, Sutter has 98 goals, 87 assists and 94 penalty minutes with Pittsburgh and the Carolina Hurricanes. He also recorded 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in 33 playoff games with the Penguins.
Drafted 11th overall by the Hurricanes in 2007, Sutter played for Canada at the 2008 world junior championships.