The Vegas Golden Knights brought back one of their free-agent players, third-line center Mattias Jankmark, on a one-year deal valued at $2 million.
Janmark came over in a deadline deal on April 12, 2021, from the Chicago Blackhawks in a three-team trade. He produced 19 points in 41 games in Chicago, and the change of scenery didn’t yield immediate results with just five points in 15 regular-season games as a member of the Golden Knights.
Related: 2021 NHL Free Agent Signing Tracker
However, his fortunes changed in one post-season game when he scored a hat trick in Game 7 of the opening-round series against the Minnesota Wild, propelling the Golden Knights into the second round. Janmark finished the postseason with eight points (10th on the team) in 16 games as the team struggled offensively the deeper they advanced.
Third Time is A Charm
The Detriot Red Wings drafted Janmark in the third round (79th overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He played the highest level of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), the country’s top professional league, averaging 30 points a season when he got the call to go to the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Grand Rapid Griffins. It was a cup of coffee (two games), then he returned to the SHL, where he had his best season in 2014-15 with 36 points in 56 games.
Janmark was traded on March 1, 2015 to the Dallas Stars in a deal that involved some draft picks and veteran Eric Cole. During the 2015-16 season, he made his NHL debut, playing 73 games, scoring 15 goals to finish with 29 points in his rookie season. During his second season, 2017-18, he produced his career best in terms of games played (81), goals (19), points (34), and penalty minutes (24).
During the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons, Janmark continued to exceed 20 points, but his scoring dipped a little with just six goals in each campaign. After reaching double digits in goals, he settled into a playmaker role with the Stars, collecting 15 and 19 helpers in those seasons. When his contract expired in 2020, he opted to sign with the Blackhawks on a one-year deal valued at $2.25 million, where he collected 19 points in 41 games before being traded. The 2020-21 season marked the fifth time in five seasons that Janmark scored at least 21 points.
Dependable Third Line Center
The Golden Knights liked what they saw from Janmark in a limited sample size during the team’s playoff run. His production may have been down at the beginning of his tenure, but he was a new player with a new team learning a new system. Given an entire offseason to prepare, Golden Knights fans should expect the native of Danderyd, Sweden to play the bulk of the games and chip in over 20 points as their third-line center.
Janmark will enjoy playing with the Golden Knights, who are very talented on offense and defense. The pressure will be there to produce points and set new career highs; however, the team has all-stars who can handle the offense, allowing him to focus on his role as their third-line center.
Ryan Gagne is one of the newest members of The Hockey Writers, covering the New York Islanders. He grew up in a small town in northern New Hampshire, where he idolized the Boston Bruins. Before moving to Canada in 2008, he was the equipment manager for his high school varsity hockey team and a sports journalist for the local newspapers. Ryan has been active in the hockey community, whether coaching, officiating, instructing, or playing. He is the ultimate rink rat with 19 years of experience making ice and driving the Zamboni. An avid fantasy sports player, Ryan created a blog, Keeping the Stats, where he dissects his teams and brags about his 2020 fantasy football championship. Outside of hockey, his life revolves around the New York Yankees, much to his wife’s chagrin.