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Photo Credit: © Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Winnipeg Jets Sign Adam Lowry to Three Year Deal

The Winnipeg Jets have signed Adam Lowry to a three year extension worth $8.75 million over three years. This works out to $2,916,666 million per season which might turn into a bargain down the road given Lowry’s elite defensive abilities.

As news broke this afternoon that the Winnipeg Jets signed an RFA that was almost to arbitration, everyone thought the Trouba deal might finally be done… While this got people’s hopes up, it wasn’t the case and Jets’ fans will have to continue waiting until Trouba’s deal, or arbitration, is done.

Even though Trouba might be on the minds of most Jets fans, inking Lowry to a new deal also had a sensitive time frame as his arbitration date was set for July 22nd.

Lowry is coming off a injury shortened season that saw him score 21 points in only 45 games. In the playoffs Lowry struggled and only tallied two assists in the 17 games. While the injuries are slightly concerning, when he was able to play, he made a bigger impact than he ever had before. Lowry easily set a new career high in points per game and increased his advanced stats totals across the board.

Looking at the advanced stats, that is where Lowry really shone this past season. Lowry had a Rel CF% of 5.93 which put him 11th in the NHL among forwards with 500 minutes. Among that same group of forwards, Lowry finished 4th in xGF% with 60.64%. Lowry’s individual stats were great, but his line stats were even better.

Lowry’s most frequent linemates were Copp and Tanev and they produced a whopping CF% of 60.56% which was fifth across the entire NHL with lines that had more than 100 minutes together. Of this same sample of lines, the Lowry, Copp, Tanev line finished second in CA/60 with 33.93.

What do all of these stats mean? For one, the Winnipeg Jets signed an elite defensive center that has incredible defensive impact across the entire NHL. Secondly, Lowry has room to grow in his offensive game, but is still productive regardless of his offensive output.

What makes Lowry’s impact even more incredible is the type of competition he faced. Lowry was routinely was matched up against the oppositions top line and often deployed in the defensive end. In fact, Lowry ranked second among all Jets centres with a dZS% of 59.4%, only Matt Hendricks had a higher dZS% with 60.9%. Not only does Lowry put up extremely strong advanced stats, but he also does so from a tough starting position as he is routinely deployed in his own end.

The actual contract is quite reasonable as most fans predicted around $2.5 – 3.5 million range for a span of three to four years. This contract is very similar to the predictions which makes this a very safe signing. I think this contract could turn into a bargain if Lowry can stay healthy and continue to increase his scoring.

The elite defensive aspect is already there and if Lowry improves his scoring, he could easily be known as one of the best bottom six centres in the entire NHL. Overall, this was a good signing by Cheveldayoff as he didn’t over-commit in either term or value. Given the future of the franchise and the impending cap crunch, deals like this are going to be the ones that push the Jets over the edge as a formidable contender.