The Jets have made their first free-agent splash.
According to Darren Dreger, the Jets have re-signed Dylan DeMelo to a four-year contract worth $3,000,000 annually. DeMelo was set to hit unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career on Friday.
The Winnipeg Jets have agreed to terms on a 4 year, $12 million dollar contract with Dman, Dylan DeMelo. $3 million aav.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 7, 2020
DeMelo was originally drafted by the San Jose Sharks back in 2011. He broke into the league in 2015-16 and became a quality depth defender. In 2018, DeMelo was one of the players who was shipped from San Jose to Ottawa when Erik Karlsson was dealt to the Sharks.
Playing for a rebuilding Senators club would allow DeMelo to take on a much bigger role on the blueline. He averaged 19:32 per night over parts of two seasons with the Sens before the Jets acquired him at the 2020 trade deadline in exchange for a third-round pick.
DeMelo played 10 games with Winnipeg before the season got postponed due to COVID-19, posting one assist and averaging 21:14 per game.
After losing three key defencemen last off-season, it’s great to see the Jets keeping a quality player in DeMelo around. He’s only 27 years old, so the Jets will have him locked up through his prime. Though he doesn’t produce much offensively, DeMelo has consistently put up excellent underlying numbers since taking on a bigger role on the blueline and is now clearly a legitimate top-four NHL defender.
$3,000,000 annually is a great price tag for a defender who can log over 20 minutes a night while producing positive on-ice shot and goal differentials.