Senior forward and captain Will Lockwood signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Vancouver Canucks, the team announced Thursday.
The Canucks drafted Lockwood in the third round with the No. 64 overall pick of the 2016 NHL draft.
“Being a part of the Michigan family is something I will cherish the rest of my life,” Lockwood said in a statement. “My experience as a Wolverine was everything I dreamt of and more. I want to thank my family and everyone who has helped me along the way in making these four years unforgettable.”
After his junior season at Michigan, in which Lockwood finished second on the team in points to current Canuck Quinn Hughes, Lockwood thought heavily about leaving for the NHL, but decided to come back to the Wolverines for his senior season. A couple of weeks later, he was named the 100th captain in Michigan hockey history.
“I would like to congratulate Will on signing with the Vancouver Canucks as he pursues his dream of playing in the NHL,” Michigan coach Mel Pearson said in a statement. “Vancouver is getting a (character) kid who plays with great energy and passion. Thank you Will for giving us four awesome years at Michigan.”
The Wolverines’ season came to an abrupt end last week ahead of the Big Ten Tournament semifinals due to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent cancellations of sporting events, but Lockwood finished second on the team in goals, assists and total points — again — with 23.
Lockwood was expected to build on his junior campaign in his senior year, but he missed three games with a concussion in the first half of the season and never quite returned to the scoring tear he was on at the end of last season. Despite that, he still put up nine goals — tied for second on the team behind senior forward Jake Slaker’s 14 — and tallied 14 assists, including the game-winning goal in what ended up being Michigan’s final game of the season against Michigan State.
“Will is a hard-working, two-way winger with natural scoring ability,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning said in a statement. “He plays with urgency and creates chances for himself and his teammates. We look forward to adding his speed and tenacity to our roster.”
This story has been updated since its original publication.