Canucks sign UFAs James Sheppard and Tuomo Ruutu to tryout contracts 

Former New York Rangers centre James Sheppard is hoping to land on his feet with the Vancouver Canucks after signing a PTO on Tuesday. Getty Images / PNG

Looking for depth on the forward line, the Vancouver Canucks have extended tryout offers to two unrestricted free agents.

By J.J. Adams  September 13, 2016

In 2006, James Sheppard was taken ninth overall by the Minnesota Wild in the NHL Draft in at the-then GM Place.

Fast-forward 10 years, and he’s back in in the same building, this time trying to resurrect a hockey career that began with so much promise.

The Vancouver Canucks signed James Sheppard, late of the Kloten Flyers in the Swiss A-League, to a PTO (Professional Try Out) contract on Wednesday, along with fellow unrestricted free agent Tuomo Ruutu.

Sheppard, a centre, has been in Vancouver all summer skating with Canucks vets as he tried to earn an invite to training camp in Whistler. The 28-year-old Halifax native  been playing with Kloten in Europe, recording 11 goals and 14 assists in 37 games. He has career NHL totals of 23 goals and 68 assists across 394 games spent with New York, San Jose and Minnesota prior to that.

Ninth overall pick James Sheppard of the Minnesota Wild poses for a portrait backstage at the 2006 NHL Draft held at General Motors Place on June 24, 2006 in Vancouver.
Ninth overall pick James Sheppard of the Minnesota Wild poses for a portrait backstage at the 2006 NHL Draft held at General Motors Place on June 24, 2006 in Vancouver. Dave Sanford/Getty Images / PN

“I still think I can play here (the NHL) and I want to play here and I’m going to work hard to prove that I can play here,” Sheppard told Province Canucks columnist Jeff Paterson over at Canucks Army.

“I’m kind of open-minded right now. As you get older, things become more important to you, and my goal is to play in the NHL right now. I think I have what it takes, and hopefully someone can see that.”

Ruutu, is a name that has been mentioned with several teams looking for forward depth over the off-season. The left winger had a single assist in 33 games with the Devils last season. It continued the death spiral his production has seen after signing a four-year, $19M contract with Carolina in 2011-12, as he saw his goal-scoring output drop from 18 to consecutive years of four, five, three, seven, and last year’s zero.

More to come on the story as it develops.

Tuomo Ruutu signed a PTO contract with the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.
Tuomo Ruutu signed a PTO contract with the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images / PN
 

Source: Canucks sign UFAs James Sheppard and Tuomo Ruutu to tryout contracts | The Province

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s