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Jets Make Trio of Depth Signings

Cheveldayoff continued his busy week as he signed multiple new contracts on Saturday. The day started with the most important signing of the three as centerman Nate Thompson signed a one year contract with the team.

The 36-year-old is a veteran in the league who has been around since 2008-09. He’s not known for his offensive abilities with only one 10 goal season in his career (and that was 10 years ago). Most recently he’s been Philadelphia and Montreal where he put up a combined 15 points in 70 games. Similar to Shore in the prior year, Thompson is projected to be the 4th line center who can play responsible hockey, win faceoffs, and kill penalties. With the Jets rolling a young lineup again this season, Thompson will be a respected voice in the locker room as he helps show what it takes to be a longtime pro.

Some people have been quick to point out that Thompson is well past his prime and doesn’t really provide much upside. While that may be the case, he’s not being brought in to play a lot of minutes as he’s going to play a very limited role on the ice. His job is to propel everyone else on the team and help make his teammates better. Maybe that’s done in practices, maybe it’s done during road trips, or maybe it’s done in the locker room. This is the type of signing that will be tough to sort out the exact impact being made.

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Whether you like it or not, it appears the Jets have found their fourth-line center to start the season.

Later in the day, the Jets scratched another RFA off their list with CJ Suess signing a two-year deal.

The important part of this contract is that it’s a two-way deal which means that the salary is different when Suess plays in the NHL compared to when he plays in the AHL. This structure points towards Suess not playing a role in the upcoming season for the Jets as he will likely spend most of the year with the Moose. Suess made his debut with the Jets during the year, but it was shortlived as he only played in the one contest.

For reference, the 725k average annual value is the league minimum as the current minimum contract is 700k with next year’s minimum contract being 750k. Spread over the two years, 725k is the lowest possible AAV for this contract.

Cheveldayoff wasn’t done yet as he managed to make one more deal in the evening. He signed depth forward Dominic Toninato to a one-year, two-way contract for the league minimum.

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Toninato spent time in the AHL and NHL last year as he played 46 games with the Panthers. He managed to score four goals and had seven assists in those games. This is strictly a depth move for the Jets as Toninato will not likely be a regular in the lineup. However, the 26-year-old does have some NHL experience and could find his way into the lineup should some injuries arise. He will be the type of player to likely bounce back and forth between the Moose and Jets throughout the year. With the Moose losing a few players in free agency, this is a good signing to get back some of the depth that was lost in the last few days.

Is Chevy done now? The Jets almost have a full roster, but they could still use a solid defenseman to bolster the second pairing. We will have to wait and see as free agency continues.

 

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