The Columbus Blue Jackets have rewarded one of their minor league forwards, signing Stefan Matteau to a two-year, two-way contract. The deal takes Matteau through the 2020-21 season, and replaces the AHL contract he had been playing in the minor leagues under. PuckPedia reports that the deal carries a cap hit of $725K in the NHL.
Matteau will join the Blue Jackets before Thursday’s game. GM Jarmo Kekalainen explained why he made the deal:
Stefan has played very well while serving in a leadership role with our AHL affiliate in Cleveland this year. He has earned this opportunity and we are excited to see him continue to develop as a member of our organization.
Matteau, 25, settled for a AHL contract after becoming a group VI unrestricted free agent at the end of last season. A first-round pick by the New Jersey Devils in 2012, Matteau never did grow into his potential and has only played 64 games in the NHL. During his tenure in the minor leagues he has been a solid contributor, but his 28 points this year actually set a career-high.
For Columbus, Matteau is just another call-up in an injury riddled season that they’ve somehow managed to navigate. He likely won’t play a major role, but does give them some professional experience in the bottom six.