On Tuesday the Winnipeg Jets came to terms with restricted free agent-winger Spencer Machacek. The former third-round pick gets a two-way deal for one year and $575,000. Machacek appeared in 13 total games last season, scoring nine points in the final 11 games of the campaign.
Machacek showed he could be a productive offensive player in a small sample size, so this re-signing is a good low-risk move. At 23, Machacek can grow into a nice player, but not a lot can be placed on a short call-up at the end of a non-playoff season. He’s only played in 25 NHL games in his career and didn’t show much in his first stint in Atlanta. At the junior and AHL levels, Machacek was a top-six forward that was relied on for offense, but Hockey’s Future projects him as a possible 2nd or 3rd liner that plays well defensively and sometimes can contribute a timely goal.
Machacek will probably need to have a great showing in training camp (if there isn’t a lockout) in order to keep his NHL career on track. There have been plenty of players that have been top-notch AHL players but never could translate their success into The Show. Machacek could very well become one of those types of guys if he doesn’t steal a job with the Jets.
One thing to note regarding Machacek’s contract: the two-way deal will allow him to play with the St. John’s Ice Caps if in fact NHL games are cancelled due to a lockout. If he does start the year in the minors, look for him to be a major factor for St. John’s.