Wednesday: The team has officially announced the contract, clarifying that Petan’s salary will actually be $874,125 at the NHL level.
Tuesday: The Winnipeg Jets still have several restricted free agents to sign this summer, but at least one can be crossed off the list. Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports that Nic Petan has re-signed on a one-year two-way contract that carries a salary of $874K in the NHL.
Petan, 23, has seemingly been passed over on the Winnipeg depth chart despite another successful minor league campaign in 2017-18. The second-round pick put up 52 points in 52 games for the Manitoba Moose, but was given just 15 games with the Jets and now sits at a career crossroads. While he obviously brings plenty of offensive talent, the Jets lineup is already overflowing with forward options and Petan’s size limits the impact he can make in other aspects of the game. This season though brings a different wrinkle for the team, as he is no longer waiver-exempt. That means to send him back to Manitoba the Jets would have to expose him to the rest of the league, an opportunity sure to be taken by some rebuilding team with a spot up front.
Because of that status, Petan may get a chance to start the year with the Jets and prove he can be a reliable NHL player. The team did lose Paul Stastny, Matt Hendricks and Joel Armia this offseason, leaving at least a little wiggle room at the bottom of the roster for players like Petan and Brendan Lemieux to carve out roles. If he can’t crack the lineup, the chance of a trade always persists for players who would likely be claimed on waivers. The Jets might feel as though they need to get something for their asset, even though he’s not providing much for the NHL club.
Petan will be a restricted free agent again next offseason, and should be arbitration eligible. He’ll be doing everything he can to prove that he deserves a one-way deal, and should be motivated in any chance he does receive.