Kyle Wellwood Signs One Year, $700 K Contract With The Winnipeg Jets

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 08: Drew Miller #20 of the Detroit Red Wings and Kyle Wellwood #20 of the San Jose Sharks go for the puck in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 8, 2011 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

According to Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun, former Sharks forward Kyle Wellwood has signed a contract to play with the Winnipeg Jets next season. The deal is reported to be a one year deal worth $700 K.

Wellwood had a player page on the team's official website earlier in the night as well.

Earlier in the offseason we discussed Wellwood's advanced statistics with the Sharks, stating that despite his weak quality of competition numbers Wellwood played admirably in a third line role. Amongst Sharks forwards who played at least 30 NHL games, Wellwood was sixth on the team in goals per 60 minutes of ice time (0.65), eighth on the team in points per 60 minutes of ice time (1.55), had the best relative CORSI on the team (18.5), was tied for first in shots for on ice per 60 minutes (33.6), first on the team in penalties taken (0.0), fourth on the team in penalties drawn (1.2), and first in +/- per 60 minutes of ice time (an astounding 1.42).

All in all, a very solid pickup for a young Jets team who was wise to jump on a low-risk high-reward player such as Wellwood heading into training camp. The Jets, who returned to Winnipeg following the relocation of the Atlanta Thrashers, finished in 20th place last season in goals per game and struggled with offensive consistency all season long.

Although Wellwood isn't a high-profile goal scorer, potting a career-high 18 goals in 08-09 with the Vancouver Canucks, he should bring some needed offensive help to a team that failed to finish the year with a 60+ point player. Considering the second and third leading point scorers last season were defensemen (Byfuglien, Enstrom), adding as much help as they can get up front is a win, especially at a low short-term price.

Expect Wellwood to compete for a second line role in camp next season, with second line power play duty a possibility as well. Those opportunities would clearly not have been given to him in San Jose, especially if the Sharks top six stays healthy throughout the year.

Earlier this summer Wellwood was allegedly considering a tryout with the Sharks during training camp, competing with players such as Andrew Murray, Jamie McGinn, Cam MacIntyre, James Sheppard, Benn Ferriero, and Andrew Desjardins for a roster spot. At this point in the offseason, San Jose looks to be going for youth on their lower lines to begin the year, although a training camp tryout invitation to a defensive-minded veteran player such as John Madden could also be a possibility.

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