Just one day after claiming Nikita Scherbak on waivers, Rob Blake continues to be active looking for small upgrades to his team. The Canucks waived winger Brendan Leipsic yesterday in order to make room for Jay Beagle, who is returning from injury.
Leipsic has bounced around the league for the past several years after being chosen in the third round of the 2012 draft by the Nashville Predators. He spent part of one season on the Predators’ AHL team before being dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Leipsic spent parts of three seasons with the Toronto Marlies in the AHL and made his NHL debut with the Leafs during the 2015-16 season.
During the expansion draft, Leipsic was left unprotected by the Leafs and was claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights. He played 44 games for Vegas, registering two goals and 11 assists, before being dealt to the Vancouver Canucks at the trade deadline. (Need a map yet?)
Much like Scherbak, Brendan Leipsic is another player who has excelled at lower levels of play but has yet to fully put his game together at the NHL level. He has 159 points in 188 AHL games, and 302 points in 261 WHL games (he spent four seasons with the Portland Winterhawks).
Before the start of the season for the Canucks, Leipsic was one who looked like he could contend for a top-six spot. He was placed there after being acquired by the Canucks last season, largely due to injuries thinning out the top of their lineup, and he generally performed well. He can be creative with the puck, but sometimes shows a lack of consistency, particularly when it comes to defensive awareness.
Also much like Scherbak, Leipsic projects as a middle-six type player who could possibly play up in the lineup if needed.
Leipsic is in the final season of his contract. He has a $650,000 cap hit and will be a Restricted Free Agent at the season’s conclusion.
And yes, he has a dog: