The Vancouver Canucks have signed young star center Elias Pettersson and defenseman Quinn Hughes, getting both restricted free agents in just under two weeks before the NHL regular season begins, a source told ESPN on Friday, confirming multiple reports.
Pettersson, 22, agreed to a three-year deal with an average annual value of $7.35 million against the salary cap, the source said. Hughes, 21, signed a six-year deal with an average annual value of $7.85 million, the highest on the team, according to the source.
Pettersson, the fifth overall pick in 2017 and NHL rookie of the year in 2018-19, has 153 points in 165 games with Vancouver. He was limited to 26 games in last season’s 56-game campaign but had 21 points.
Pettersson will remain a restricted free agent when the contract ends in 2023-24.
Hughes will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2026-27 season. He has 97 points in 129 games. He finished second to Colorado’s Cale Makar for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie in 2019-20.
Makar signed a six-year deal worth $9 million annually with the Colorado Avalanche in July. Hughes’ contract carries a smaller cap hit than young defensemen like Makar, Ottawa’s Thomas Chabot ($8 million) and Dallas’s Miro Heiskanen ($8.45 million), although the latter two signed 8-year deals with their teams.