The Winnipeg Jets have added some more forward depth, signing Austin Poganski to a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will carry a salary of $750K at the NHL level. Poganski qualified for Group VI unrestricted free agency this season after spending the early part of his professional career with the St. Louis Blues.
The 25-year-old Poganski played five games for the Blues this season, spending nearly the entire year on the taxi squad. In 2019-20, he had 30 points in 56 games for the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, but isn’t expected to be much of an offensive presence at the NHL level. Instead, if he wants to play at the highest level, the powerful skater is going to have to carve out a role as a bottom-six energy player.
There is room for that in Winnipeg, where they have just nine forwards signed to one-way contracts after today’s moves. The team currently has a few spots at the bottom of the roster open for competition, and though some younger, higher-profile prospects may be destined to fill them, a player like Poganski could potentially slot in as a 13th or 14th forward to open the year. If not, and he’s ticketed for the minor leagues, he’ll have to clear waivers to get there.