Free Agent Focus: Winnipeg Jets

Key Restricted Free Agents

F Pierre-Luc Dubois: After a bit of an underwhelming first year with Winnipeg, Dubois was much more impactful this past season, sliding in nicely into the center spot on the second line for a good chunk of the campaign while also playing up when Mark Scheifele was injured.  The end result was numbers that were comparable to his sophomore season with Columbus as he put up 28 goals (a career high) and 32 assists in 81 games.  The 23-year-old is only two years away from being eligible for unrestricted free agency since he started in the NHL at 18 and is owed a $6MM qualifying offer next month.  Dubois is poised to land more than that if he gets to an arbitration hearing on a one-year award while a long-term contract that buys out his prime UFA years could push him closer to the $7.5MM mark.

 

F Mason Appleton: After a strong showing in 2020-21, Appleton was a widely-expected choice for Seattle in expansion but things didn’t go as well with the Kraken.  That resulted in him being moved back to Winnipeg at the trade deadline but he still scuffled offensively.  In the end, a platform season of 21 points in 68 games isn’t great but it should still be more than enough to push for a small increase on his qualifying offer of $945K, especially since this is his last year of RFA eligibility.  A long-term contract isn’t likely but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Winnipeg try to sign a multi-year pact and gain another year or two of team control in the process.

 

F Evgeny Svechnikov: The 25-year-old finally got a full NHL season under his belt and held his own in limited minutes, collecting 19 points in 72 games.  That’s not why he’s mentioned here, however.  As teams look to keep costs down on their end-of-roster players (something the Jets have done the last few years), Svechnikov’s arbitration eligibility looms large.  It’s not that an award would be over-the-top expensive (likely around the $1MM range) but depending on what happens with Dubois, Winnipeg is likely to have to get quite thrifty with their last few roster spots and an extra few hundred thousand may be more than they can afford which makes him a potential non-tender candidate.

Author: Lucy Green