Canucks’ Troy Stecher, Tom Nilsson assigned to Utica

Vancouver Canucks defenceman Troy Stecher. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

MONTREAL — The Vancouver Canucks have assigned defenceman Troy Stecher to the AHL’s Utica Comets, the club announced Wednesday.

The 22-year-old was called up from the minors last month and played three games for Vancouver, including his NHL debut against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 25.

Stecher didn’t register a point for the Canucks, but looked dangerous offensively for a team that has struggled to score goals early in the schedule.

The native of Richmond, B.C., who signed with Vancouver as an undrafted free agent in April, made a strong case to stay with the team in training camp, but was assigned to Utica before the season.

The five-foot-10, 181-pound Stecher inked a deal the Canucks after helping the University North Dakota Fighting Hawks win their eighth NCAA title.

Vancouver (4-4-1) has scored the fewest goals in NHL this season with just 16 through nine games for a 1.78 average. The club’s power play has also connected just three times in 28 opportunities to sit 26th overall.

The Canucks, who opened a six-game road trip against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night, also sent fellow defenceman Tom Nilsson to Utica.

The 23-year-old signed with Vancouver after scoring one goal and six assists in 37 regular-season games for Frolunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League in 2015-16.

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