Canucks Sign Seventh Rounder Mackenze Stewart


The Vancouver Canucks made a signing of one of their prospects this afternoon, inking defenseman Mackenzie Stewart to an entry level deal.

Stewart was a seventh round pick by the Canucks this past season. The press release from the team is below.

"Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the Canucks have signed defenceman Mackenze Stewart.Stewart, 19, recorded 11 points (5-6-11) and a team-high 114 penalty minutes with the Prince Albert Raiders this season. The Calgary, Alberta native has appeared in 127 WHL regular season games with the Prince Albert Raiders collecting 20 points (10-10-20) and 185 penalty minutes.The 6’4”, 216-pound defenceman was selected 186th overall by Vancouver in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft."

Vancouver still is yet to sign the top defenseman from their draft class Jordan Subban. He could re center the draft if the team does not re-sign him, however, so retaining Stewart could have been depth in anticipation of losing Subban.

In general, the Vancouver media hasn’t been thrilled with what Stewart brings to the table. Ryan Biech of VanCityBuzz says he doesn’t understand why the team rushed to sign a defenseman with 11 points for his career high with the Raiders.

Brad Ziemer from the Vancouver Sun spoke to the Canucks GM, who had this to say about Stewart:

"“This year, he played some wing and some defence. I think what we are going to try and do is develop him as a winger. He is a real good skater for his size, he gets in on the forecheck and plays physical. He’ll stick up for his teammates, he’s a hard-nosed kid who will do what needs to be done.”"

Canucks Army says that Stewart is “a depth defenseman on a bad hockey team” so it seems that the reaction hasn’t been overly positive. Vancouver has been one of the more active teams in making signings of prospects in the past couple of months.

The story on Canucks Army mentioned some scouts and analysts calling Stewart “not a prospect”. Now that he’s with the organization, he could soon be with the Utica Comets in the American Hockey League. He is likely a minor league depth prospect, and the team will have to set their sights on signing Subban, their top defense prospect. Canucks fans should be worried at this point that he isn’t signed yet, and retaining Stewart also should make you wonder what they are planning.

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