Canucks Sign Centre Mario Bliznak
| Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Canucks Senior Vice-President and General Manager Dave Nonis announced today that the Canucks have signed centre Mario Bliznak. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Bliznak, 20, signed his first pro contract after being selected by Vancouver in the seventh round, 205th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. In 2006-07, the 6'0", 200 lbs. native of Trencin, Slovakia appeared in 47 regular season games with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League, recording 22 points (8-14-22) and 20 penalty minutes. In the WHL playoffs, Bliznak played in all 22 games with the Giants, notching 12 points (6-6-12) and 14 penalty minutes, helping lead his team to the WHL Finals for the second consecutive season.
In the CHL's MasterCard Memorial Cup Tournament, Bliznak suited up for all five tournament games with the Vancouver Giants where he finished second in team scoring with six points (1-5-6), including a goal and an assist in the Championship final, en route to the Giants winning their first ever Memorial Cup Championship. Bliznak was also a member of Team Slovakia at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in Sweden, appearing in all six games for his country and registering a goal.
One year prior, Bliznak played in his first WHL season with the Vancouver Giants, notching 21 points (9-12-21) in 69 regular season games. He also appeared in all 18 playoff games with the Giants, netting 5 points (4-1-5) and 14 penalty minutes, helping the Giants capture the WHL Championship. He made his Memorial Cup debut with the Giants, appearing in all five tournament games with the Giants and recording one assist.