Earlier this week, the Anaheim Ducks re-signed forward Max Jones to a three-year contract, which carries a $1.3 million cap hit.
Jones is 23 years old and was originally selected with the 24th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. In addition to Jones, Max Comtois and Josh Mahura were also re-signed by the Ducks, and you can read an analysis of Comtois’ contract here.
Playing in 46 games with the Ducks this season, Jones scored seven goals and 11 points in 46 games, a pace of 12 goals and 20 points per 82 games. Over the last three seasons, the winger has played a total of 135 NHL games, in which he’s scored 17 goals and 28 points.
Jones continued to have a relatively small role with the team this year, averaging 14:10 per game in a bottom-six role, though he did up the pace of his production slightly. While it’s unlikely that he climbs up the lineup much, Jones plays a physical game and could become a long-term third or fourth-line player with the team.
As a result, Jones’ contract provides fair value for the price. A recent comparable in terms of role and production would be Austin Wagner of the Los Angeles Kings, who signed his three-year deal for $1.13 million per year. Wagner is also a bottom-six forward, who signed his extension at 23 years old as well. While Jones had higher production in his contract year, he had a lower career points per 82 average than Wagner did at the time of signing, and it makes sense to see Jones' cap hit come in around the same number.
A three-year deal at a fairly low price gives Jones the opportunity to round out his game a bit more, before the Ducks commit long-term. While his ceiling doesn’t seem anywhere near as high as expected at the time when he was drafted, that doesn’t mean he can’t remain with the team long-term. It’s a reasonable price to pay but if Jones can up his production and potentially grow his role, the contract could start to look very good for the Ducks.
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