Source: Anton Rodin close to deal with Canucks

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According to a tweet from TSN 1040’s Tony Gallagher, the Vancouver Canucks are close to signing 2009 second round pick Anton Rodin to a new contract.

After playing a trying two seasons in North America with the Canucks AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves, Rodin returned to Sweden for the past three seasons where he experienced a career revitalization.

All year long, there has been speculation that Rodin would like to return to North America as long as he was given a chance in the NHL. Luckily, Canucks management provided Rodin with a qualifying offer prior to his departure, thus retaining his NHL rights.

That prudent move by former GM Mike Gillis is now looking even better, as it appears the Canucks are close to signing Rodin.

If Rodin is signed, his contract will start next season.

No terms or further details have been found, but it is a safe assumption that the Canucks will provide Rodin with a one-way contract and all the opportunity possible to secure a roster spot with the big club next season. In January, Jason Botchford from The Province speculated that the deal would be in the $1.1 million range for one year.

The Stockholm native suffered a skate cut in practice in late January and hasn’t played since. At that time, he was leading the Swedish Hockey League in points.

He was so dominant, that even though he missed almost six weeks of the season and all of the playoffs, he was still voted the league MVP. He finished the season with 16 goals and 21 assists in 33 games.

It will be fascinating to see how Rodin does in his second stint in North America. Due to strength and injury issues the first time around, he struggled in the AHL. But given the maturation of his own game and better structure in the NHL, he may actually see better results. He will also likely play with one of Brandon Sutter or Bo Horvat next season, and thus will see a huge bump in his linemate talent when compared to his AHL days.

Rodin possesses NHL quality skating and shooting ability, so as long as his previous issues are in the past, the Canucks may be adding a very good middle-six forward for next year.

And the best part? It costs the Canucks nothing asset-wise.

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