Josh Morrissey is going to be a member of the Winnipeg Jets for a while.
The team on Thursday announced the signing of its dependable defender to an eight-year, $50 million contract. The deal kicks in at the start of the 2020-21 season and will carry a $6.25-million AAV.
The 24-year-old is entering the second and final season of a $6.3-million bridge agreement that he signed in September of 2018. He would have become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights after its completion.
#NHLJets announced have agreed to terms with defenceman Josh Morrissey on an eight-year contract.
Morrissey, 24, played in his third full season in 2018-19, setting career highs in assists (25), points (31), and time on ice (22:24).
DETAILS ➡️ https://t.co/foXBMvKFbS pic.twitter.com/0NqnPSm9KN
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) September 12, 2019
Despite only appearing in 59 regular-season contests last year, Morrissey put together the most productive campaign of his young career and will be a crucial part of the squad’s defensive corps going forward.
After leading the team in short-handed ice time per game last season, he expects to see plenty of powerplay opportunities going forward, too.
"I've always maintained I want to be a Jet and I want to play here in Winnipeg. I'd love to get something done," said Morrissey when buzz about him being close to an extension began to grow earlier this month, according to Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press.
“As a player, you just want to go through the process and handle it the right way. But I'd love to get something done and I'd love to play here throughout my career... I just feel like (Winnipeg) is a great fit for me and as a person.”
The city feels the same way. As highlighted in the team’s statement about his signing, Morrissey has won multiple awards for his community service, perseverance, dedication and hard work.
With the departures of Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers and Ben Chiarot over the summer, Morrissey will put those attributes to the test as he sees a large jump in responsibility on the Jets’ back end.
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