The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed free agent forward Sean Kuraly to a four-year contract worth $2.5 million a year. The deal is worth $10 million total and carries the 28-year-old through the 2024-25 season.
The Athletic: #CBJ sign Dublin native Sean Kuraly to a four-year, $10 million free agent contract.
Also, sign Boone Jenner (four years) and Eric Robinson (two) to contract extensions, sign Patrik Laine to one-year, $7.5 million contract.
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) July 28, 2021
Sean Kuraly Signed With Hometown Team Columbus
After spending five seasons with the Boston Bruins organization, Kuraly returns to play in his home state of Ohio. Over his five-year NHL career, Kuraly has registered 24 goals and 44 assists in 270 games. With only 68 points over that span, Kuraly has scored at just a .25 point per game pace so far in his career. He was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2011 draft, 133rd overall by the San Jose Sharks.
Last season, Kuraly scored four goals and five assists in 47 games for the Bruins. He also posted 20 penalty minutes. Kuraly’s offensive production did not increase in the playoffs as he registered zero points in 11 playoff games. His advanced stats were also poor as he posted some of the worst Corsi, Fenwick, and Expected Goals Percentages among Bruins forwards.
What This Means for the Future
With his lacklustre point production and advanced stats, it is apparent Columbus is spending money on Kuraly’s face-off percentage and intangibles. Last season, Kuraly had a 57.4 percent faceoff win rate. The former Miami Redhawk is a character guy who plays a grinding style of play that is most suitable for a fourth-line checking role. Kuraly’s positional flexibility will allow Columbus options on his placement as either a center or left winger. However, with their somewhat significant investment, it appears Columbus views Kuraly as a true center.
On the center depth chart, it seems that Kuraly would play on the fourth-line center behind some combination of Jack Roslovic, Boone Jenner, Max Domi, or Alexandre Texier. Kuraly would certainly seem to be a role player that would be a favorite of former coach John Tortorella. It will be interesting to see how new Columbus head coach Brad Larsen utilizes him.