The Arizona Coyotes are set to bring over a familiar NHL face, as Andy Strickland of Bally Sports Midwest reports they will sign Dmitrij Jaskin to a one-year contract. Jaskin is expected to earn $3.2MM after dominating in the KHL the last two seasons.
Though he hasn’t played an NHL game since the 2018-19 season, Jaskin’s value actually may never have been higher. The 28-year-old forward scored 69 goals and 123 points in just 117 games during his two-year KHL stint, winning the regular season MVP award for 2019-20. Those are totals he never came close to approaching during his previous 303-game NHL career, spent mostly with the St. Louis Blues. Jaskin’s career-highs were 13 goals and 18 points in St. Louis.
If it were just his NHL numbers considered, there’s no way he would earn a $3.4MM deal with the Coyotes. But the team is betting that overseas success can be reproduced (at least partially) if given the same top-six opportunity. In Arizona, there will be a chance for him to play higher up the lineup, given how clearly the team is stripping any valuable assets out of the organization. The Coyotes have acquired several big cap hits for future assets, while trading away top forward Conor Garland and captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Of course, if you’re going through a rebuild, you usually aren’t bringing over high-profile free agents from the KHL. The plan here may very well be to flip Jaskin at the deadline, given the fact that Arizona isn’t expected to be competitive as currently constructed.