Defenseman Cole McWard Signs 2 Year NHL Entry-Level Contract With Canucks


Cole McWard (Photo:

by Canucks Communications @Canucks / Vancouver Canucks

April 4, 2023

Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenceman Cole McWard on a two-year, entry-level contract.

Cole McWard’s salary is $950,000 and his cap hit is $922,500 for the 2022-23 season. His salary is comprised of $95,000 in signing bonuses and $855,000 in base salary. He is a 21 year old defense who was born on Jun. 9, 2001. He has signed 1 contract worth a total value of $1,900,000. He will be a RFA at the end of the 2023-24 season when he is 23 years old.


“Our group has worked extremely hard this college free agent season and this signing is another important step in building out our prospect pool,” said Allvin. “Cole has produced well offensively in each of his two seasons at Ohio State and excelled in a leadership role during his final USHL season with Tri-City. We look forward to having him work with Adam Foote, Sergei Gonchar and the rest of our development staff to round out his game as he transitions to the professional level.”

McWard, 21, recently completed his sophomore college season with The Ohio State University, recording 21 points (9-12-21) and eight penalty minutes in 39 games. He established personal bests at the college level in goals and points and led Buckeyes defencemen in goals (9) while ranking second among defencemen in assists (12) and points (21).

McWard was named Big Ten Third Star of the Week earlier this season after a team-high three points in a series at Penn State from December 2-3, where he recorded a goal and two blocked shots in game one and two assists alongside a career-high tying four blocked shots in game two.

The 6’1″, 192-pound defenceman appeared in 36 out of 37 games for Ohio State in his Freshman season (2021.22) where he posted 16 points (4-12-16), 40 blocked shots and a +13 plus-minus rating. Over the past two seasons with Ohio State, McWard has tallied 37 points (13-24-37) and 10 penalty minutes.

Prior to beginning his college career, McWard played 149 games in the United States Hockey League (USHL) all with the Tri-City Storm, where he recorded 57 points (23-34-57) and 101 penalty minutes. He was named captain of the Storm in 2020.21 and to the All-USHL Second Team after leading USHL defencemen in power play goals (9) and shots on goal (131).

The Fenton, Missouri native represented the United States internationally at the 2017 U17 Five Nations Tournament, winning gold.


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