The Winnipeg Jets extended qualifying offers to four restricted free agents (RFAs) before free agency began and were faced with the task of signing these four players with limited salary cap space.
But as of this morning, the Jets front office were able to complete this task as they signed their last remaining RFA.
That player was Johnathan Kovacevic who the Jets drafted in the third round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
According to the latest report, the Winnipeg Jets have signed Johnathan Kovacevic to a one-year contract
Cap Friendly broke the news last night as they reported Winnipeg has signed Kovacevic to a new one-year contract that has an average annual value (“AAV”) of $750,000 at the NHL level and $90,000 in the Minors. Kovacevic’s contract is also a two-way contract.
Kovacevic came to the Winnipeg Jets organization after playing three years collegiately in the Hockey East conference at Merrimack College in New Hampshire.
The twenty-four-year-old right-shot defenseman, then played one game with the Manitoba Moose after his collegiate career ended, in the spring of 2019, and has applied his trade with the Moose since.
Kovacevic has impressed during his first two professional seasons in the AHL. During those seasons, the six-foot-five-inch blueliner has a combined 74 games played, six goals, 20 assists, and a plus-20 plus/minus.
During the 2021 season, Kovacevic was a consistent figure on Manitoba’s top defense pair and he finished the season tied for the team lead in plus/minus.
With the Jets bringing in Brenden Dillon and Nate Schmidt to their defensive corps this offseason along with having nine defensemen on their roster, as of right now it looks like Kovacevic will be starting the season in the AHL with the Moose.
Kovacevic definitely has shown he has what it takes to be a successful AHL defenseman and he has the potential to be an option for the Jets. Kovacevic has good size to shut down opposing forwards in the defensive zone and has shown his offensive flare. He has the potential to be a solid two-way defenseman
Winnipeg Jets Fans: What is your initial reaction to the Winnipeg Jets resigning Johnathan Kovacevic? Leave your comments below!
*All Stats Provided by the Elite Prospects*