Winnipeg Jets fans and everyone involved in the organization had a very exciting Friday, as the team announced that Adam Lowry signed a five-year contract extension and will not become an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. The contract carries a $3.25 million average annual value (AAV) and keeps the power forward with the team.
The 28-year-old has 20 points in 44 games this season, which goes along with his 143 points in 452 total career NHL games. The St. Louis native played his youth hockey in Canada and went on to play Junior for the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League. It is to no surprise that Lowry decided to sign with the Jets, as his dad Dave has been the teams assistant coach since the beginning of the season.
This article takes a look at the former third-round draft pick’s future with the Jets and what he can bring to the team going forward. I’ll also have some fun comparing his contract to other NHL players such as Brandon Tanev and Lars Eller.
Five Years of a Physical Third-Line Player
Lowry is one of the best and most productive third-line players in the entire NHL. He puts up some points when he needs to, but it is his physical presence that makes the Jets a better team. He has showed numerous times that he can stick up for his team and he drives a little bit of fear into his opponents when he is on the ice. His most notable was his fight in the 2019-20 season against Ryan Reaves, who is one of the toughest players in the league.
His physicality allows him to lead the team in hits almost year in and year out. He has a total of 132 hits this season, which puts him just outside the top 10 in the entire league. It is very important to have a player like him on the team, especially to wear down other teams when it comes playoff time. Taking a look at the last two Stanley Cup winners, those teams have had very similar players. The Tampa Bay Lightning and the St. Louis Blues both had Patrick Maroon for their Cup run. He was very impactful during their time in the playoffs.
First Penalty Kill Unit
Lowry will be on the Jets’ first penalty kill unit for the next five seasons. He is an elite player in his own zone and is the first man out for the penalty almost every time, along with Andrew Copp. He is always in the right position defensively and knows when to get the puck out of the zone. He is all around a very smart player and has a high penalty kill IQ.
The penalty kill, although unfortunate, may be one of the most important aspects to a hockey team. When down a man, the team needs to be able to kill it off effectively and maybe create some momentum coming out of it. Lowry provides the Jets with a stable penalty kill for the next five seasons.
Tanev signed a six-year contract worth $3.5 million AAV with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He signed this after his career started with the Jets and became a fan favourite to watch. He plays a grinder-type game that allows him to have a ton of hits and is very productive on the ice. Lowry is bigger and has the potential to put up more points year in and out for the Jets.
He gives the team a solid third-line centre that will never be replaced, whereas Tanev can be a third- or even a fourth-line winger for the Penguins. Overall, the Jets got the better deal in Lowry.
Eller signed a five-year contract worth $3.5 million AAV with the Washington Capitals. He puts up more points than Lowry every season, but is very similar in overall production. Lowry and Eller is a perfect comparison when it comes to what a player’s contract should look like. It would not surprise me if Kevin Cheveldayoff looked at Eller’s contract before giving Lowry his offer.
Future is Bright
With Lowry being locked up for the long term, it is no question that players want to play in Winnipeg. With a great team and a great coach, it is important to lock up the key players to long-term contracts. Lowry is just the beginning of the future in Winnipeg and will be a key piece of success for years to come.
What do you guys think about the deal? Could they have given him more or less money? Where do you see him fitting in the lineup the next five seasons? Let me know in the comments below!