The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed un-drafted free agent Jordan Maletta to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced Monday.
Maletta was playing his overage season with the Niagara IceDogs in the OHL, where he’s scored 34 goals and 59 points in 68 games as an alternate captain for the team. He ranked third on the team in points and first in goals.
Maletta has had a strong final year in major juniors, where he was voted the league’s second most underrated player and third-best penalty killer in the annual coaches poll. The 6-foot-3 center projects to be a role player in the pro ranks.
He’s caught the eye of other NHL teams too, having joined the Boston Bruins for development camp as an invitee last season.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Post-Dispatch reports that Maletta could join the Lake Erie Monsters for a few games this season if the IceDogs find themselves exiting the OHL playoffs early. They’ll start the postseason Thursday with Game 1 of a seven-game series against the Ottawa 67’s.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.