The Arizona Coyotes and two-way forward Jordan Martinook have avoided arbitration, coming to terms on a new deal today. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that Martinook has signed a two-year, $3.6MM deal to remain in the desert. The two sides have reportedly been close on contract terms for a while, but there was also speculation that Martinook would wait for his arbitration hearing this Wednesday, July 26th, before making a decision. Instead, the big forward has signed on for two more years with the promising young Coyotes, where he could soon take on a larger role for the team.
Martinook, in just his second full NHL season, has already shown that he is a model of consistency and effort. Capable of playing both center and left wing, Martinook is the perfect versatile bottom-six forward. He plays a smart two-way game, including leading the Coyotes’ penalty kill unit, and brings a physical edge and swift defensive style. He can also put up some offense, with 24 and 25 points respectively in his first two full seasons, including 11 goals in 2016-17.
The 24-year-old Martinook is just beginning to show his NHL upside, and should take on a much larger role for Arizona going forward. Amazingly, with Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata now gone, Martinook is second only to Tobias Rieder in games played with Arizona among forwards on the team with just 166 contests. The absence of those veterans will naturally allow for more ice time and scoring opportunity for Martinook, but as full-effort player and one of the longest-tenured forwards on a young term, Martinook could also be in line for a leadership position in the locker room. At just $1.8MM per year for a well-rounded player about to take the next step in his development, GM John Chayka and the Coyotes may have a bargain on their hands with Martinook’s new contract.