Garland signs five-year, $24.75 million contract with Canucks

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Conor Garland signed a five-year, $24.75 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. It has an average annual value of $4.95 million.

The 25-year-old forward could have become a restricted free agent Wednesday. He and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson were traded to the Canucks by the Arizona Coyotes on July 23 for the No. 9 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft (forward Dylan Guenther) and forwards Loui Eriksson, Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel.

“We’re pleased to have reached a long-term deal with Conor today,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. “He’s a skilled young player, who plays hard, produces offensively and will complement our top-six forward group.”

Garland scored 39 points (12 goals, 27 assists) in 49 games for the Coyotes this season. He and Ekman-Larsson, the former Coyotes captain, join a Canucks team that finished last in the seven-team Scotia North Division (23-29-4) and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons.

“I think both of us are just coming in to try to help them get over the top,” Garland said. “[Ekman-Larsson is] a great defenseman. He’s a great puck-mover. He shoots the puck really well, easy guy to play with when you’re out on the ice. And for me, I just like to go out there and compete and play hard. I have a knack for offense. I’ve kind of always been able to put up points and just want to come in there and play my game and play hard and let that stuff take care of itself.”

Selected by Arizona in the fifth round (No. 123) of the 2015 NHL Draft, Garland has scored 96 points (47 goals, 49 assists) in 164 regular-season NHL games and two points (one goal, one assist) in eight playoff games.

The Canucks also announced they would be buying out the final season of Braden Holtby‘s contract on Tuesday, and the 31-year-old goalie will become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday. He signed a two-year, $8.6 million contract with Vancouver (average annual value $4.3 million) on Oct. 9, 2020.

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