Sunday: The Jets have announced the signing, making it official. Kovacevic has signed an amateur try out with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL and is expected to spend the rest of the season there.
Friday: The Jets have inked one of their prospects as TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie reports (Twitter link) that they’ve signed defenseman Johnny Kovacevic to a two-year, entry-level deal. CapFriendly adds that the contract carries a $700K base salary with a $92.5K signing bonus in both years. The deal officially begins in the 2019-20 season.
The 21-year-old was a third-round pick of Winnipeg back in 2017 (74th overall) following a strong freshman season at Merrimack that really put him on the NHL radar after playing in the CCHL the previous two years. While he hasn’t matched his offensive numbers from that rookie year in his past two seasons, he has emerged as a capable two-day defender that was a fixture in their top four and clearly, Winnipeg has liked what they’ve seen as they’ve signed him a year early as he still was eligible for his senior season.
With the contract starting next season, Kovacevic is likely report to AHL Manitoba for the rest of the season on an amateur tryout deal. The Moose are currently in ninth in the Western Conference, on the outside of the playoff picture. Kovacevic may be the boost they need to sneak in over the course of these final few weeks.