The Edmonton Oilers have announced their latest free agent signing: former Vegas Golden Knight Mattias Janmark is heading north, joining the Oilers on a one-year, $1.25MM deal.
Janmark, 29, was a third-round pick of the Dallas Stars at the 2013 draft and has been a consistent third or fourth-line forward since making his NHL debut in 2015-16. Janmark made the jump to North American professional hockey after an impressive season with Frolunda of the SHL and made an immediate impact with the Stars, scoring 15 goals and 29 points in 73 games. Janmark missed all of 2016-17 with a knee injury, but that didn’t stop his immediate production, as he scored 19 goals and 34 points in his first season after the injury.
The year after that, though, Janmark’s puck luck evaporated. Janmark’s shooting percentages in his first two seasons had hovered in the low teens, and in 2018-19 it crashed to just 5.7%, leading Janmark to a disappointing six-goal, 25-point year. In 2019-20, Janmark’s shooting rebounded only slightly, and he finished with another six-goal performance on a 7% shooting percentage. Those two disappointing years sealed Janmark’s exit from Dallas, and he signed a one-year, $2.25MM deal with the Chicago Blackhawks.
In Chicago, Janmark re-discovered his goal-scoring touch, potting ten goals and 19 points in just 41 games before he was traded to the Golden Knights as part of a three-team trade that net the Blackhawks second and third-round picks. In Vegas, Janmark had only five points in 15 regular season games, but that wasn’t what earned him a contract extension. Janmark is best known in Vegas for serving as the team’s hero in Game Seven against the Minnesota Wild, a game where Janmark scored a hat trick. Janmark finished with eight points in 16 playoff games and earned a one-year $2MM extension in Vegas.
Janmark’s most recent season with the Golden Knights was an up-and-down affair. His production was decent, as nine goals and 25 points aren’t totally out of line with his career averages. But injuries and the overall decline of the Golden Knights as a whole kept Janmark from having the night-to-night impact in a winning team’s bottom-six that he’s used to having. That’s what’s likely responsible for this slight decline in pay, although Janmark does now end up in a favorable situation in Edmonton.
Janmark is joining a team that just went to the Western Conference Final and he should be able to take on a valuable bottom-six role as a second-unit penalty-killer and secondary goal-scorer. Janmark has averaged around a minute of shorthanded ice time per game for the past few seasons and that’s about what should be expected of him in Edmonton.
At a $1.25MM price tag, the Oilers have secured a reliable, experienced, prime-age bottom-sixer who can help their penalty kill. The Oilers’ offseason is far from over, as Kailer Yamamoto, Jesse Puljujarvi, and Ryan McLeod are all restricted free agents, but this is a sensible addition nonetheless.
This is a nice signing for not a lot of money IMO. Good for the Oilers.
Janmark is an average player who is always valued (by acquisition cost or AAV) as a below average player.
A bit slow, but otherwise a useful player.