Abbotsford Canucks General Manager, Ryan Johnson, announced today that the club has signed defenceman Alex Kannok Leipert to a one-year contract extension ahead of the 2022-23 season.

Kannok Leipert, 21, participated in his first professional campaign in 2021-22, spending the entire season with the Canucks. Skating in 41 AHL regular season games, Kannok Leipert lead Abbotsford rookie defencemen in plus-minus, with a rating of +5. He also recorded five points (one goal, four assists) and 32 penalty minutes this past season, and scored the first goal of his AHL career against Lukas Dostal in the Canucks’ 5-2 home victory over San Diego on April 9.

The 6-0, 200-pound defenceman was originally signed to a one-year AHL contract on August 17, 2021. Kannok Leipert was acquired as a free agent after completing his overage major junior campaign with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League, where he served as captain for two seasons. His WHL career amassed 219 regular season games and 28 playoff games; all of which he played for the Giants.

“We are excited to keep Alex in the organization.”, said Canucks General Manager Ryan Johnson. “He is a player we want to keep building with and is a person that fits to the environment we are building here in Abbotsford.” Johnson also mentioned that he expects Kannok Leipert to attend Vancouver Canucks development camp in July. The development camp, which is being held at UBC from July 10-15, will also include many other of the organization’s young prospects.

Having played his past five seasons of competitive hockey in the Fraser Valley cities of Langley and Abbotsford, Alex described how it was an obvious choice for him to return to the Canucks for another season. “I’m excited to be coming back to Abbotsford,” said Kannok Leipert. “The fans and the organization made my transition to pro very easy. My time in Abbotsford has been better than I ever could have imagined. I’m looking forward to getting back out West and continuing to develop as a player and a person.”

A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Kannok Leipert was originally selected by the Washington Capitals during the 2018 NHL Entry Draft as the team’s sixth-round pick (161st overall). Although he grew up in Saskatchewan, he was born in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, and became the first Thailand-born player in AHL history when he made his professional debut on October 16, 2021 during Abbotsford’s inaugural season opener at Bakersfield. Kannok Leipert holds dual citizenship in both Canada and Thailand, and was also the first player born in Thailand to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft.