The Winnipeg Jets signed UFA centre Vladislav Namestnikov to a new contract today. This contract, worth a total of $4 million, carries him through the 2024-25 season. That equates to an annual cap hit of $2 million.
Vladislav Namestnikov Signs New Contract via Free Agency
In his first season with the Jets, Namestnikov posted ten points (two goals, eight assists) in just 20 games played. Injuries limited his season, but his scoring rate stood on pace with the best years of his career. He carried a 5.8% relative Corsi-for percentage last season when healthy, logging roughly 15 minutes of ice time per night.
Namestnikov’s first contract came after the Tampa Bay Lightning took him with their first round, 27th overall pick in the 2011 entry draft. In 630 career games, Namestnikov potted 115 goals and 146 assists for 261 points thus far. In ten NHL seasons, he’s already played for seven different franchises.
The longest deal of Namestnikov’s career was his entry-level contract, signed with Tampa back in March 2012. This represents the sixth consecutive contract for Namestnikov with two years of term or less.
What this Means for the Future
The Jets remain a team without an identity, considering the fact they turned over the majority of their core. Pierre-Luc Dubois left via sign-and-trade. Blake Wheeler had his contract bought out. Plus, Connor Hellebuyck remains atop everyone’s trade bait list. Namestnikov’s contract affords him plenty of opportunity now to take on a bigger role here.
Whether he can buoy a first line, though, remains to be seen. He often plays 50 to 70 games in a season, with various minor injuries along the way preventing him from suiting up on a nightly basis. That said, at his best he breaks the 20-goal plateau and lands around the 40-point mark. That probably fits best in Winnipeg’s middle six forward group, though he can slide up in a pinch.
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