Winnipeg Jets sign Tobias Enstrom to contract extension

According to multiple sources, the Winnipeg Jets have signed defenseman Tobias Enstrom to a multi-year extension. The details aren’t out yet, but Enstrom is entering the final year of the four-year, $15 million deal he signed in 2009. Had he not been extended, he would have been eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2013.

Enstrom’s name has been tossed around as a potential trade candidate if the Jets were looking to haul in some youth had they decided not to pay their top offensive defenseman. Enstrom is one of the better kept secrets in the NHL when it comes to puck movers, and he and Dustin Byfuglien have thrived as a pairing.

The 27-year-old Swede has four NHL seasons under his belt and has had at least 30 points in each one. He has 203 points in 380 games played, good for more than half a point per game in his career.

As one of the league’s better puck-moving defensemen, Tobias Enstrom is sure to get a nice raise from the $3.75 million he was averaging over the term of his last contract. In a league that values skilled defensemen that can quarterback a power play, he was going to be paid either way. I have a feeling his cap hit will be around $5 million.

The Jets now have their top pairing in Enstrom and Byfuglien locked up for the foreseeable future. As long as Kevin Cheveldayoff didn’t give Toby stupid money, this is a solid investment by the Jets. Defensemen that can start the rush, contribute offensively and eat up about 25 minutes on a given night are highly coveted.

Stay tuned for an update once the terms become public.

UPDATE

Enstrom gets five years and $28.75 million from the Jets, meaning he’ll have a cap hit of $5.75 million starting next season. Considering what guys like Dennis Wideman and Matt Carle got this summer, it’s not a bad number, especially because Toby will be the Jets’ #1 D-man for at least the next few seasons.

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