Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced Friday by press release, that the club signed defenceman Olli Juolevi to a three-year entry level contract.
“Olli is a talented all-around defenceman with high hockey sense who will be a big part of our organization’s future,” said Jim Benning.
“He’s had an outstanding year, winning the Memorial Cup and World Junior gold. We look forward to seeing him continue his development and compete at the NHL level during training camp in September.”
Juolevi a well-rounded blueliner:
A competitive spark-plug, Olli Juolevi is a complete, all-around defenceman who can hem the opposition in their own end or make things difficult for the opposition at home; either way, he puts the pressure on and lays it on thick. A strong and balanced skater, he can rush the puck through the neutral zone with ease or backcheck with haste. Uses his size to his advantage, but knows his physical limits and plays within them. Instead of playing overly physical, he makes his presence felt by exhibiting his high-end playmaking ability and puck possession play. All-in-all, a well-rounded blueliner who thrives under pressure and can be trusted in all situations. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
Juolevi, 18, finished third among Ontario Hockey League rookie defencemen in scoring in 2015.16, registering 42 points (9-33-42) in 57 games for the London Knights.
Skating in his first full season in North America, the 6-2, 182-pound defenceman also earned OHL Second All-Rookie Team and OHL Third All-Star Team honours.
During the 2016 playoffs, Juolevi registered 14 points in 18 games to help the Knights capture the OHL Championship. Named to the tournament All-Star Team, he then added seven points in four games to help the Knights capture their second Memorial Cup.
Prior to joining London, Juolevi appeared in 44 games in 2014.15 with Jokerit’s junior squad in Finland, registering 32 points (6-26-32). He was also named the league’s Best Defenceman, Rookie of the Year and selected to the First All-Star Team.
On the international stage, the Helsinki, Finland, native helped his country capture gold at the 2016 World Junior Championship where he led all defencemen with nine assists (0-9-9) and was named to the tournament All-Star Team.