The Vancouver Canucks have officially signed 23-year-old forward Mike Zalewski to a two-way deal, paying him $575,000 in the NHL. The deal replaces the AHL-only contract he was on with the Utica Comets.
Zalewski was signed as a free agent by the Canucks on March 14, 2014 and appeared in two NHL games at the end of the 2013-14 season, notching one assist. He followed that up with a rather lacklustre first season in the AHL, scoring just 12 points in 55 games.
But this year has been a different story for the 23-year-old American. By all accounts, he has been one of the most impressive Comets players.
Comet Mike Zalewski's call up to Van is well-earned. Tremendously improved from last season, Travis Green plays him in all situations.
— John Pitarresi (@PitarresiSports) January 21, 2016
Zalewski has appeared in 36 games for the Comets this season where he currently ranks tied for fifth on the team in scoring with 17 points (8-9-17).
Zalewski’s call up sends a great message to the rest of #Comets too. The best player is getting called, regardless of contract/draft status.
— Brendan Burke (@brendanmburke) January 20, 2016
It remains to be seen how many games Zalewski will see in Vancouver, but clearly he’s back on Jim Benning’s radar.