Winnipeg Jets sign restricted free agent defenceman Leon Gawanke

The Winnipeg Jets‘ list of unsigned restricted free agents is now down to just two names after the hockey club agreed to terms with defenceman Leon Gawanke on a one-year, two-way contract on Tuesday.

The six-foot-one, 186-pound right-shot blueliner will be paid US$750,000 in NHL dollars and US$125,000 while he is with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose.

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The 23-year-old Germany-born rearguard has spent his entire first three years in the North American pro ranks with the Moose, scoring 15 goals and adding 54 assists for 69 points in 139 games.

The Jets’ fifth-round pick in 2017 from the Quebec Major Junior League’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles led the Moose with 26 assists during the 2021-22 season and was fourth on the team in overall scoring with 36 points.

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Gawanke also had a successful Calder Cup playoff debut, scoring once and setting up three other goals for four points in Manitoba’s first-round series loss to the Milwaukee Admirals that went to a fifth and deciding game.

Right-winger Mason Appleton has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 11, while centre David Gustafsson is not arbitration eligible and remains unsigned.



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