The Winnipeg Jets have re-signed captain Blake Wheeler to a five-year deal worth $41.25M ($8.25M AAV).
Wheeler was heading into the final year of a five-year deal that carries a $5.6M cap-hit. His new deal will keep him in a Jets’ uniform through the 2023-24 NHL season.
The 32-year-old winger was once a mid-round fantasy sleeper, but has turned into an early-round pick in recent years. Wheeler has been extremely durable over the last three seasons, appearing in 245 of 246 games and collecting near point-per-game (243 points) numbers. During that stretch, Wheeler ranks third in the NHL in assists (168), fifth in points and tied for 42nd in goals (75).
Wheeler set new career-highs in assists (68) and points (91) last season. He spent most of his season on a line with Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor and should start there again this season. During their 611:10 5v5 TOI together, the trio carried a 50.89 CorsiFor%, 53.41 ScoringChancesFor% and a 55.77 GoalsFor%. Those numbers dipped pretty drastically in the 165:04 that Wheeler spent away from Scheifele and Connor—48.57 CF%, 50.00 SCF%, 33.33 GF%.
Overall, Wheeler grades out as the No.4 right-winger according to Corsica Player Rankings and that top line is ranked as the No.5 first-line in hockey. Combined with a loaded second line (Nikolaj Ehlers–Bryan Little–Patrik Laine) that ranks No.2 in the NHL, and the Jets have one of the most feared top-6’s heading into 2018-19.