Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis announced the team signed 2008 draft pick Yann Sauve and free agents Lee Sweatt and Chris Tanev, Monday.

The signings kick off the summer off-season for the Canucks who are still nursing the wounds of a second round playoff exit to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Sauve, 20, spent the 2009-10 season with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League accumulating 36 points (7-29-36) and finished the season a plus-42.

The Canucks picked Sauve in the second round of the NHL Draft in 2009. The 6-foot, three-inch, 214-pound Rigaud, Quebec native, has 20 goals, 82 assists and 102 points in his four-year QMKHL career.

Sweatt, 24, split the 2009-10 season between the Riga Dynamo (Kontinental Hockey League) and the TPS Turku (Finnish National Hockey League).

The Elburn, Illinois native recorded seven points (2-5-7) in 37 games with the Dynamo. He also scored 16 points (9-7-16) in 21 games with TPS Turku.

Sweatt was also a member of the United States national inline hockey team at the 2008 Men's World Inline Hockey Championships. He was named the Best Defenceman of the tournament.

Tanev, 20, played with the Rochester Institute of Technology during the 2009-10 season. He tallied 28 points (10-18-28) over 41 games with Tigers. He also led his team with a plus-34.

The three additions on defence come after the Canucks blue line was unable to handle feisty Chicago Blackhawks forwards in front of goaltender Robert Luongo in the 2010 NHL Playoffs for the second consecutive season.

Last summer Gillis added defensemen Christian Ehrhoff in hopes of bolstering his defense. This off-season Gillis looks to be turning to the team's prospects to develop players to fill Vancouver's void on the back end.

Vancouver has approximately $11-million (U.S) to play with and fill six roster spots this summer.

The signing of the young defensemen perhaps comes as a result of a slim picking pool of experienced defencemen set to become free-agents July 1 and a need to develop NHL-ready prospects.