Talks are underway between the Winnipeg Jets and Zach Bogosian for a contract extension, according to the Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe.
The Jets had a “preliminary contract discussion” with Bogosian’s agent, Bob Murray, on Thursday.
This negotiation promises to be an interesting one as Bogosian, a 22-year-old restricted free agent, is about to see his two-year, $5 million deal expire.
He signed that deal after his entry-level contract expired in 2011, and should be in line for a big payday this summer.
Though he’s dealt with health issues over the last two years (missing 32 games with wrist, lower- and upper-body injuries), the former No. 4 overall pick has been a solid producer when healthy.
Bogosian had 14 points in 33 games this year, but averaged 23:07 TOI — second only to fellow Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.
Last year, he posted a career-high 30 points in 65 games.
The Jets are in a unique position when it comes to re-signing Bogosian. They’re roughly $28 million under the cap for 2013-14, but only have 12 players under contract.
On the blueline, they’ve already got big money locked into Byfuglien ($5.2 million per until 2016) and Tobias Enstrom ($5.75 million per until 2018) and it’s expected that highly-touted 2012 first-rounder Jacob Trouba will have a shot at making the roster next year.
The Jets also have RFA defensemen Zach Redmond, Paul Postma and Arturs Kulda to sort out, and it’s anybody’s guess what becomes of UFAs Ron Hainsey and Grant Clitsome.
An added element is the potential of an offer sheet.
At 22, Bogosian has a lot of hockey still to play and an aggressive team could put Winnipeg in a financial bind — if the offer sheet was big enough.