VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks defenseman Christopher Tanev figured he was finished with hockey in high school, so the idea of one day signing a five-year, $22.25 million contract never crossed his mind.
That's exactly what the 25-year-old did Tuesday, signing an extension with the Canucks worth $4.45 million per season almost 10 years after he thought he was done playing competitively.
"It's something I never thought would happen at all, especially during those days," said Tanev, who signed in Vancouver as an undrafted free agent in 2010, after one season playing NCAA hockey at the Rochester Institute of Technology. "Even during college I had no idea I would be in the NHL now. It's just something that's evolved so fast and I'm just happy to be here and along for the ride."
It's a ride that almost ended in grade 10 because Tanev was 5 feet tall and weighed less than 120 pounds, too small to continue playing AAA hockey in the Greater Toronto Hockey League.
"I couldn't really make any triple-A teams, so I just went back and played high school hockey once a week with my buddies," said Tanev, who also turned to roller hockey. "And I honestly thought I would play some high school hockey with friends and that would be it."