Micheal Ferland signed a four-year, $14 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. It has an average annual value of $3.5 million.
"They have a great, young and up-and-coming team, they have great young players with [Elias] Pettersson, [Brock] Boeser and Bo Horvat," Ferland said. "For my style, I think that's a team that I can fit in quite nicely. It's a young team still."
The 27-year-old forward had 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists) in 71 regular-season games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season and had one assist in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games.
With Ferland playing at times on the top line, Carolina reached the playoffs for the first time since 2009 and made it to the Eastern Conference Final, which it lost in a sweep to the Boston Bruins.
"I think we shocked a lot of people around the League, no one expected us to do what we did, and we were a young group over there, and that's what I see in Vancouver," Ferland said. "We came in Carolina and made it into the playoffs and getting to the Conference Final, and you look at Vancouver and the players they have and the guys they're bringing in and I think that's the next step for Vancouver and I think I can come over there and help."
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Ferland had two goals and an assist to help Calgary clinch a playoff series against Vancouver as a rookie in 2015, and his physical play drew critical comments from Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who after that season joined the Anaheim Ducks.
"That was kind of when I got foot in door in the NHL," Ferland said. "I remember just being wide-eyed at playing playoff games in Vancouver, and first of all how beautiful the city was, and the atmosphere in that building (Rogers Arena) was always pretty exciting. That was when I kind of got my foot in the door, and I have matured as a player.
"When I first came into the League, I was a bottom-six checker, I liked to finish my checks and get pucks deep, and over the last few years I have established I can play with high-end players and play good with skilled guys also. I have learned a lot over the last few years and matured a lot as a player."
Forwards Pettersson (68 points), Horvat (61) and Boeser (56) are the only three Canucks to score more points than Ferland did last season. Vancouver this offseason traded for forward J.T. Miller, who had 47 points for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"I would like to play in the top six," Ferland said. "I had a good meeting with (general manager Jim) Benning and (coach) Travis Green and I'd like to play in the top six, but if I am playing in the top nine I think I can be effective on the third line also. Meeting with Benning, he told me I would have a lot of opportunity here playing with Pettersson, Boeser and the skilled guys they have, and they need a bigger guy on their line that can give them some space, and be able to play with them, so when I sat down and talked with my wife, I figured this would be the best opportunity to grow and play with those type of guys."
Video: Ferland signs four-year deal with Canucks
Acquired by Carolina with defenseman Dougie Hamilton and defenseman prospect Adam Fox in a trade with the Calgary Flames on June 23, 2018, for forward Elias Lindholm and defenseman Noah Hanifin, Ferland has 129 points (59 goals, 70 assists) and 193 penalty minutes in 321 games with the Flames and Hurricanes.
"I've got a style that I play," Ferland (6-foot-1, 217 pounds) said. "When I am at my best is when I am physical. When I am out there being physical, I get my body into it and I think the rest of my game comes into it also."
Selected by Calgary in the fifth round (No. 133) of the 2010 NHL Draft, Ferland has six points (three goals, three assists) in 20 playoff games.
"Micheal is an energetic player that drives the play and can contribute in all three zones," Benning said. "He'll make our team harder to play against on a nightly basis and we're excited that he'll call Vancouver home."
NHL.com correspondent Kevin Woodley contributed to this report