The Abbotsford Canucks have signed forward Chase Wouters to a two-year contract extension.
The American Hockey League club made the announcement on Wednesday (June 29), and it means he will be under contract through the end of the 2023-24 season.
Wouters became the first player signed under the Abbotsford Canucks banner on July 22, 2021 when the team signed him to a one-year contract.
He collected 18 points in 60 games as an AHL rookie with the Canucks in 2021-22 and he ranked second on the team in plus/minus by finishing with a +16. He also was the inaugural winner of the team’s “Unsung Hero” award, which is voted on by the fans and given to the player “who has exemplified sportsmanship, competitiveness, and a consistent work ethic for the team throughout the course of the season.”
Abbotsford Canucks general manager Ryan Johnson hinted that he believes Wouters may have the potential to play at the next level of professional hockey.
“Chase immediately became a key piece of our overall environment here in Abbotsford,” he stated in a press release. “Our goal is to continue to develop him with hopes that his path goes beyond the AHL.”
Wouters said he is pleased to be back in Abbotsford.
“I’m beyond excited to be coming back in Abbotsford,” he said in a press release. “The fans and the organization made my first year pro one to remember. I can’t wait to get back to Vancouver and Abbotsford so I can continue to develop into a better player and person.”
Wouters arrived in Abbotsford after becoming the longest-serving captain in the history of the Western Hockey League’s Saskatoon Blades. He wore the “C” for the Blades from the 2018-19 season to the 2020-21 season and recorded 181 points in 280 games with the club. His number 44 was also retired by the team.
He was drafted in the first round, 18th overall by the Blades in the 2015 WHL Bantam draft. Wouters also attended the Tampa Bay Lightning summer development camp and as a result received an invite to Tampa’s fall camp in September 2018.
He was initially NHL draft eligible in 2018, but was not chosen.
Wouters and the Canucks home opener is set for Oct. 28.