Vancouver Canucks sign former taxi-squad defenceman Ashton Sautner

Shorthanded with six players in COVID-19 protocols, the Vancouver Canucks signed former taxi-squad defenceman Ashton Sautner to a one-year, two-way contract on Saturday, interim general manager Jim Rutherford announced.

Sautner, 27, has one assist and 10 penalty minutes in 18 games with the Abbotsford Canucks this season. In 2020-21, he played in two games with the Manitoba Moose while on the loan by the Canucks, spending most of the season on the Canucks taxi squad.

Currently in protocol for the Canucks are Luke Schenn (went in on Dec. 14), Juho Lammikko (Dec. 14), Brad Hunt (Dec. 14), Tucker Poolman (Dec. 14), Jason King (assistant coach, Dec. 15), Tyler Motte (Dec. 17) and Tyler Myers (Dec. 18).

It’s unclear as to when the Flin Flon, Man., native will suit up for the Canucks, as the team had its next two games postponed because of the latest COVID outbreak in the league.

In 260 AHL games with Abbotsford, Utica and Manitoba, Sautner has 11 goals and 39 assists for 50 points, adding 170 penalty minutes.

After being signed by Vancouver as a free agent on March 14, 2015, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound defenceman made his NHL debut with Vancouver on March 25, 2017. In 23 career NHL games, Sautner has three assists and four penalty minutes.

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