The Winnipeg Jets have agreed to a three-year, $6.2 million contract with defenseman Grant Clitsome, according to the Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe. That means he will avoid the unrestricted free agent market.
The 28-year-old had four goals, 16 points, and tied for the team high with a plus-10 rating in 44 games last season. He’s a physical defender that blocks shots while chipping in a bit shorthanded and with the man advantage.
This deal represents a meaningful increase over his previous cap hit of $1.25 million and gives the Jets four defenseman locked in to one-way deals, including Tobias Enstrom, Dustin Byfuglien, and Mark Stuart.
The Jets last noteworthy defenseman that can become an unrestricted free agent is Ron Hainsey. He averaged 22:51 minutes in 47 games last season. Hainsey, 32, was also by far the team’s leader in shorthanded minutes.
With Clitsome off the market, the projected group of unrestricted free agent defenseman is even thinner. It might end up being headlined by Carlo Colaiacovo, Marek Zidlicky, Joe Corvo, Hainsey, and Rob Scuderi.