The Vancouver Canucks announced the signing of this year's first-round draft pick, center Brendan Gaunce. The deal is reported to be for three years at the NHL entry-level maximum of $925,000, according to a report in the Vancouver Sun.
Gaunce, 18, is a 6-foot-2, 205-pound rookie from Markham, Ont., Canada who scored 68 points, totaled 68 penalty minutes and played in 68 games for the provincial league Belleville Bulls in 2011-2012. His 28 goals and 40 assists led the team.
Gaunce was the 26th overall pick of the draft. Vancouver, the No. 1 seed in the West after the regular season last spring, seeks to rebound from a first-round playoff exit at the hands of the eventual Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings.
Gaunce, according to the Sun, had an emergency appendectomy Sunday and came home from the hospital Monday. He's expected to open the 2012-2013 season with Belleville of the Ontario Hockey League.