Dakota Joshua‘s contract should be on the radar of the Vancouver Canucks as he will become an Unrestricted Free-Agent next season, if not signed. He has definitely been a steal for the Canucks on the 2023-24 season. The player who was drafted on the fifth round of the 2014 NHL Draft, has been showing his best this year. He has currently 23 points in 51 games. Joshua’s been doing an wonderful job on a line alongside Conor Garland and Teddy Blueger

However, we don’t know many things about a possible resigning of a contract. The biggest question is: will the Canucks keep him when his contract ends?

Joshua’s Career until his Canucks Debut

Dakota Joshua has come from a hockey family. His mother, Jullee, was the one who got him and his brothers into hockey. She played for the Michigan Polar Bears (Metro Senior Women’s Hockey League). 

The Michigan-born player started his college hockey career in one of the best NCAA programs at Ohio State in 2015. There he stayed for four years and was a Big Ten honourable mention in 2017.

In 2019, while he was still playing with the Buckeyes, the Toronto Maple Leafs – the team that drafted him – traded him to the St. Louis Blues for further considerations. After the end of his senior year with the Buckeyes, Joshua went to play for the Blues Affiliate at the time, the San Antonio Rampage.

He finally made his debut on the NHL on March 2021, against the Anaheim Ducks. After parts of three seasons in the AHL, Joshua stayed in the NHL gathering eight points in 30 games played in 2021-22.

The Canucks Journey

Coming out as a free-agent in the start of the 2022-23 season, the Canucks saw a huge opportunity on Joshua. Vancouver signed the power-forward on a two-year contract. And through this contract we see an important factor, $1.65 million. Joshua has been making around $825k, $75k about the league’s minimum contract ($750,000). The Canucks obtained an essential player for their journey going back from a non-playoff team to a cup container one. We are seeing the results on the rink.

In the 2022-23 season, he was able to gather 23 points. Those being 12 assists and 11 goals. He also got 222 hits.

The multiple changes made in the team after not making it to the playoffs – such as Quinn Hughes being named captain and Rick Tocchet being named headcoach – were essencial to lead the canucks to be at the top at the league standings currently. This also helped improve the teams game making and connections.

Dakota has been one of the most important players on ice for the Canucks this season.  In 29 games less, he has already gathered the same points as did last season. He is a very versatile player, being able to succeed on both the defensive and offensive side of the game. Especially with the Blueger and Garland line, we’ve seen some incredible plays being one of the reason of the Canucks success this season. Joshua has also been known for his physicality. He currently has 177 hits this season, the most of any Canucks player and 3rd most in the NHL.

What to expect Next from Joshua and the Canucks

As said before, Dakota Joshua is having a career-season. The 27-year-old forward seems to have found his place in the league and looks to be confident is his play. It is definitely expected that contract conversations will be a huge matter on the off-season, but for now, not much has been said regarding that. One certain thing is Joshua is one of the steals of the Canucks, and we’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more from him as the season goes by.

“I would say this is where I wanna be and I strived to be my whole life. No complains from me lately. Still a long way to go, but definitely got my feet on the ground and heading in the right direction” – Said Joshua on a interview for SportsNet.

Joshua should be in line for a decent raise and maybe a deal with some term from some team if it’s not the Canucks. He’s an unrestricted free agent and could fetch some attention for a club looking for a young and hungry depth forward.

Main photo by: Simon Fearn- USA Today Sports

Akash Mahi, a dedicated enthusiast of the game, is a recognized expert in the domain of tennis balls. With a keen understanding of materials and aerodynamics, he has contributed to the evolution of tennis ball design, enhancing playability and performance. Mahi's expertise continues to impact both casual players and professionals alike.