The 22-year-old RW just finished up his three-year, entry-level deal that carried an AAV of $925,000, inclusive of bonuses.
Last year Jurco found his way into 63 games for the Wings, scoring three goals and 15 assists. That follows the season where he made his NHL debut, playing 36 games, over which he scored eight goals and seven assists. That same season, the 2013-14 campaign, he posted 13 goals and 19 assists through 32 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) July 24, 2015
That AHL campaign was a nice step forward from the prior season where he played 74 games for Grand Rapids, scoring 14 goals and 14 assists.
At the NHL level he shouldered more responsibility last season, but scored just three more points than the prior season despite playing an additional 27 games. But it’s not quite as gloomy as it may appear in the raw numbers. Jurco averaged less ice time at five-on-five last season, which factors into any assessment of his season in a significant way because his P/60 of 1.5 was exactly the same as the season before. That’s particularly notable because in 2013-14 he had a ZSO%Rel of 11% and last season he had a -3.1%.
He scored less last season, but he scored at the same rate as the season before and he did it with worse zone starts and while maintaining a score-adjusted CF%Rel of 2.7%. Jurco’s a good case of things looking much better than they appear on first glance.
The two-year deal gives the Wings a forward who can be effective in a depth position, particularly important because the Red Wings aren’t losing much talent from last season and are bringing in Brad Richards, as well as the possible rise of prospects Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha, not to mention the possibility that the AHL’s leading scorer Teemu Pulkkinen could be in line for regular ice time next season. Jurco will need to prove he’s capable of being effective in the bottom six in order to maintain his spot on the roster.
Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.