When a team acquires a player with an upcoming expiring contract via trade, the expectation is for the two sides to get a deal done.
That’s exactly what the Winnipeg Jets did on Wednesday afternoon when they inked Rasmus Kupari to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $1,000,000.
Kupari was acquired by the Jets in June as part of a package from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Pierre-Luc Dubois. The 23-year-old forward spent parts of the last season with the Kings, after they selected him 20th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. While he never truly lived up to expectations in the King's uniform, the trade presents the young forward with a new opportunity.
Last year, Kupari played in a career-high 66 regular season NHL games, recording three goals with 15 points. Over the last three seasons, he’s played in 130 games with a total of nine goals and 29 points.
The six-foot-two centre hasn’t had much success offensively in his young professional hockey career, however, he’s been a significant contributor in the defensive zone. Last season, the two-way forward demonstrated his physicality by recording 80 hits with 16 takeaways, also blocking 34 shots.
After inking a two-year pact in Winnipeg, Kupari is looking to rejuvenate his career and show a new fanbase what he’s capable of doing. After the signing, the Jets have a projected $2,779,643 of cap space remaining for the 2023-24 season, according to cap friendly.com.