While Patrik Laine has drawn a lot of the attention among Winnipeg’s restricted free agents up front, Kyle Connor finds himself in a pretty good situation as well. He had a career year in 2018-19 with 66 points in 82 games (out-producing Laine in goals, assists, and points) which has him in good shape for a significant raise this summer. Postmedia’s Ken Wiebe pegs Connor’s next deal to be in the range of that of Toronto’s William Nylander, who signed a six-year contract with a $45MM face value (though he’ll receive less since he held out for two months before signing). Considering that the two have a very similar career path through their first three professional seasons, it’s certainly a valid comparison although with so many others to re-sign (including defenseman Jacob Trouba as well), a $7.5MM AAV may not be to the liking of the Jets who would certainly like to get one of their big contracts done early.
More from the Western Conference:
- The Avalanche have no intention of moving their fourth overall pick in next month’s draft, GM Joe Sakic told Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required). Considering Colorado made it to the second round of the playoffs, it’s somewhat plausible that there could be a temptation to move that pick for someone that can step in and make a significant impact right away. However, with the salary cap starting to become a hindrance for more teams, impact talent on entry-level deals are going to become even more valuable in the years to come and Colorado should land one of those players with that pick, acquired from Ottawa in the Matt Duchene trade in 2017.
- While Peter DeBoer will return behind the bench for the Sharks in 2019-20, a decision has yet to be made regarding their assistants, notes Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News. Instead, GM Doug Wilson will do a thorough review process before making any decisions on the future of those coaches.