Mason Appleton Returned to Winnipeg Jets

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Mason Appleton is going back to the Winnipeg Jets.

Jets Bring Mason Appleton Back

The eternally useful Mason Appleton’s stay on the coast was a brief one. He was taken by the Seattle Kraken in the Expansion Draft2023 and returned today in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2023.

Appleton was originally drafted by the Jets in the sixth round in 2015. It was a surprisingly strong round, yielding John Marino, Vladislav Gavrikov, and Andrew Mangiapane as well. For Appleton, he seasoned an additional year in the AHL before splitting the 2018-19 season. Two strangely abbreviated seasons later, he was selected by the Kraken.

He established himself as a full-time NHL player in the bottom-six. With little ice time, he scored 20 goals and 46 points in his 138 games before going to Seattle. So far this season his production hasn’t matched last year, with six goals and 17 points in 49 games. He has been sound defensively, which is always a welcome addition. Especially for a team pushing for the playoffs.

What This Means

Appleton will be a restricted free agent at the end of the year with arbitration rights. If he continues to keep his rounded-out game intact, he’ll undoubtedly be in line for a modest raise. Even so, his $900,000 contract is a welcome one for the rest of the year. His most frequent linemate was Yanni Gourde and the now-traded Colin Blackwell or Calle Järnkrok.

As fits any player taken as late as Appleton, he wasn’t really looked on as an NHL scorer. He’s worked his way into that position and can reward the Jets by providing an added threat. He hasn’t played centre much in the NHL but has the ability to, adding some flexibility for Winnipeg. Especially if one of the most coveted centres at the deadline happens to get moved in the next 24 hours.

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