Defenceman Josh Mahura of the Regina Pats has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks.
Mahura – a 19-year-old product of St. Albert, Alta. – was selected by the Ducks in the third round (85th) at the 2016 NHL Draft when he was still a member of the Red Deer Rebels. The Ducks took a chance on the 6-foot-1, 185-pound rearguard after he was limited to only two games during the 2015-16 regular season due to injury.
Despite missing the bulk of the 2015-16 WHL campaign, Mahura returned in time for the 2016 WHL Playoffs and aided the Rebels as they advanced to the 2016 Eastern Conference Championship, tallying four points (2G-2A) in 17 games. He also skated in another four games as the Rebels hosted the 2016 Mastercard Memorial Cup, falling to the QMJHL’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in semifinal action. Evidently, that sample size was good enough for Anaheim brass and Mahura did nothing but reinforce their instinct in 2016-17.
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) May 17, 2017
Returning to the Rebels for the start of the campaign, Mahura logged 33 points (9G-24A) in 39 games in Red Deer before being dealt to the Pats in a WHL Trade Deadline blockbuster in which the Pats sent 18-year-old forward Lane Zablocki, 16-year-old defenceman Dawson Barteaux, a pair of first-round picks (2017 and 2018 or 2019) and a conditional third-round pick (2020) to Red Deer in exchange for Mahura and 18-year-old forward Jeff de Wit, as well as a conditional third-round pick (2018 or 2019) on Jan. 10.
From there, Mahura carried on his steady play in the Queen City, chalking up 20 points (8G-12A) in 34 regular season contests before playing a vital role in his team’s run to its first WHL Championship appearance since 1984. Though the Pats fell to the Ed Chynoweth Cup-champion Seattle Thunderbirds in six games, Mahura was rock solid throughout, managing 21 points (8G-13A) in 23 playoff games.
Originally selected by the Rebels in the second round (36th) of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft, the smooth-skating defender has registered 62 points (19G-43A) in 126 career WHL regular season games, adding another 26 points (10G-16A) in 45 career WHL playoff outings.
Mahura was a member of Canada’s gold-medal winning entry at the 2015 Ivan Helinka Memorial Tournament, where he scored one goal in four games.
Mahura joins Pats’ teammate Sam Steel as the second Queen City kid to sign an entry-level contract with the Ducks this season. Steel put pen to paper back on Dec. 20, 2016.