The Columbus Blue Jackets signed Patrik Laine, their restricted free agent right-winger, to a one-year contract worth $7.5 million. Laine accepted the qualifying offer tendered by the Blue Jackets yesterday. He will be a restricted free agent again next summer.
As expected, CBJ F Patrik Laine accepts his qualifying offer. So, his salary for the season is $7.5M.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 27, 2021
Columbus Blue Jackets Sign Patrik Laine
Over his five-year NHL career, Laine has played for both the Blue Jackets and Winnipeg Jets. His career totals sit at 150 goals and 121 assists for 271 total points, in 351 games. Originally drafted in the first round, second overall of the 2016 NHL draft by Winnipeg, the 23-year-old will be staying in Columbus.
Getting Patrik Laine signed after last year’s performance, without a doubt, looked to be a tough task. The winger went four straight years with 28 to 44 goals annually to kick off his career. Then, his time in Winnipeg came to an abrupt end. He dressed just once for the Jets in 2020-21 (though, he scored two goals and an assist that night). Laine possesses an elite NHL shot, game-breaking ability, and potential superstar status.
What This Means for the Future
Rumours of Laine being disgruntled and wanting out of the Jets organization swirled around for more than a year prior. General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff finally pulled the trigger in 2021, moving Laine and Jack Roslovic to Columbus in return for Pierre-Luc Dubois. Laine was the star winger in the move, and Dubois the star centre going the other direction. Oddly enough, it was Roslovic who racked up the most points in 2020-21 and had more impact than either of the primary trade pieces had with his new team.
Laine’s apparent destiny when drafted second overall appeared to be becoming one of the faces of the Jets’ franchise. Now, it looks like he’ll try to accomplish that as a Blue Jacket. The franchise expects a major bounce back from him after scoring only 10 goals and 11 assists in his 45 games as a Blue Jacket last year. Hopefully, the new contract and a new, full season ahead give him the fresh start he needs. If Laine finds his confidence, Columbus will have one of the top-scoring threats in the NHL on their roster. That’s something they desperately need, after a year where not one player reached the 20-goal plateau.