Today, the Jets locked up their best player in Dustin Byfuglien. He will receive a 5 year deal worth a well deserved $38 mil, which comes out to $7.6 mil per year. The deal was confirmed by the club.
Next, the 30-year-old has had a good 2015 season by compiling 32 points. He has 15 goals and 17 assists. He has played in all 52 games so far and sits in a tie for second amongst all NHL defencemen with his 15 goals. In addition, the Jets franchise player also leads the team in shots (163), penalty minutes (78) and ice time (24:14 per game).
Furthermore, Byfuglien was named an All-Star this year. Now, the defencemen has been named to the All-Star Game in each of the last four seasons that the game has taken place (2011, 2012, 2015, 2016). He is a consistent player and it shows.
In fact, Byfuglien is a key piece to this team due to the fact that he is a two way player and could still play winger if needed. Also, he can screen the opposition’s goalie on power plays as a defencemen and still get back on time to help defensively. You cannot replace players like Byfuglien, who also is a leader in the locker room. Also, with Byfuglien receiving this deal, it is clear that Andrew Ladd will be on his way out of Winnipeg, so expect a trade to happen instead of letting him walk after the season.
Finally, Byfuglien has played 649 NHL games tallying 376 points that are split between 148 goals and 228 assists. Also, by Winnipeg resigning the 30-year-old, it shows that they are willing to turn around the franchise and bring winning back to Winnipeg.
Note: Byfuglien will be the third highest paid defencemen in hockey.