The Winnipeg Jets dealt with turmoil and turnover on defense last season, trying to navigate the year after losing Jacob Trouba, Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers in one offseason. By the deadline, they had stabilized things by acquiring Dylan DeMelo from the Ottawa Senators. DeMelo will now be returning, stabilizing things once again.
The Jets have announced a new four-year contract for the pending free agent defenseman, one that will carry an average annual value of $3MM. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic breaks down the salary:
- 2020-21: $2.5MM
- 2021-22: $3.0MM
- 2022-23: $3.0MM
- 2023-24: $3.5MM
The deal includes no signing bonuses but does have a partial no-trade clause throughout. DeMelo will receive quite the raise over his previous contract that carried just a $900K salary.
Though he’s certainly not flashy, DeMelo is, as Jets head coach Paul Maurice so eloquently put it, “coach’s porn.” Finding footage of him turning the puck over is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, even if he doesn’t necessarily do anything that stands out either. In 269 career NHL games he has recorded just seven goals and 64 points, even while getting some time on the powerplay in San Jose and Ottawa.
Those were his two stops before Winnipeg and he arrived in the Jets organization by way of trade this season. He cost the team a third-round pick but immediately became a favorite of the coaching staff and ended up averaging more than 21 minutes a night in the Jets short postseason run.
Expect that heavy load to continue next season, given the Jets still only really have three full-time defensemen signed. DeMelo joins Josh Morrissey and Neal Pionk as options for the top-four, while Carl Dahlstrom and Tucker Poolman will both try to prove they are ready to spend the entire year in the NHL. Sami Niku is also a restricted free agent, while Ville Heinola and other prospects could make the jump.
The Jets could also be on the lookout for more defensive help in free agency, but they’ll have to be careful handing out the long-term deals. Remember that Patrik Laine, if staying in Winnipeg, will need a huge raise after this upcoming season.
That’s a lot for him. Must have faith that he’s going to be in their top 4
He can play on any pairing and make his partner better.
he likely would have been around that number in FA as a RHD. it’s a good retain for the Jets
30 other fan bases punch air
Bit of an over pay but jets are begging for d men. They will spend for d men Friay
I like DeMelo as a locker room guy, but after watching him on the Sharks for years, he’s not worth this contract at all