The Vancouver Canucks have signed Calgary Hitmen forward Carson Focht to a three-year, entry-level contract. The NHL Club announced the signing Wednesday afternoon.
The 20-year-old Focht, a product of Regina, Sask., was selected by the Canucks in the fifth round (133rd overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft, which was hosted in Vancouver at Rogers Arena.
“Dream come true to sign my first NHL contract with the Canucks organization,” Focht said in a tweet. “Huge thank you to my family, friends, teammates, trainers, coachs and agents for helping me get to this point. Excited for the next chapter.”
The 6-foot-1, 176-pound pivot finished fourth in scoring on the Hitmen during the 2019-20 campaign, registering 56 points (32G-24A) in 61 contests.
Originally selected by the Tri-City Americans in the first round (seventh overall) of the 2015 WHL Draft, Focht has skated in 262 career WHL regular season contests, collecting 161 points (74G-87A) along the way. The 2018-19 season was Focht’s best from an offensive output standpoint, as he posted 64 points (26G-38A) in 68 games with the Hitmen.
“Over his time in Calgary, Carson developed into a key contributor for our team,” said Jeff Chynoweth, General Manager of the Hitmen. “He is a driven player who hates to lose at whatever he does and this compete level has helped him achieve this goal of signing his first NHL contract with Vancouver. We thank him for his time as a member of the Hitmen and wish him all the best moving forward in his professional career.”
Focht has also appeared in 15 WHL post-season games, contributing 10 points (5G-5A).
“It’s always great news when a player is able to graduate from the Hitmen by signing an NHL contract,” said Steve Hamilton, Head Coach of the Hitmen. “Carson has been a big part of our team the past three seasons and we wish him continued success with the Canucks organization.”
In 2019-20, he represented Team WHL at the CIBC Canada Russia Series, which was hosted in Saskatoon and Prince Albert in November 2019. Previous to that, he represented Canada internationally at the 2016 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, notching three points (1G-2A) in six games with Canada White.
Focht joins fellow Hitmen teammate Jett Woo with the Canucks. Woo, a 20-year-old defenceman, was selected by the Canucks in the second round (37th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft and also signed to an entry-level contract.