The Winnipeg Jets have signed forward Bryan Little to a six-year contract extension worth a reported $5.291 million annually.
The 29-year-old had 21 goals and 26 assists in 59 games last season, posting 119 shots on goal and averaging 17:33 of ice time a season. The Edmonton native had six power play goals and three game-winners, but finished a minus-7 on the season.
Little was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He went 12th overall in a year that featured Erik Johnson, Jordan Staal, Jonathan Toews, Nicklas Backstrom, and Phil Kessel as top picks.
Little’s best NHL season to date came in 2013-2014, when he posted 64 points in 82 games. He’s scored at least 20 goals in five of his NHL seasons and would like to guide his Jets back to the post-season.
“He’s one of those players around the League, has a quiet type of appreciation when coaches are setting up against your team that they talk about,” general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said. “Hearing the things that [assistant coach] Jamie [Kompon] says about playing against us, how they looked at players, looked at our team, and hearing what other coaches thought about it, Bryan’s name was always one of those that when you start the game you might think he’s one way, when you finish the game the coaches always comment how effective he is.”
With the new deal, Little will receive a bit of a raise. He’ll earn $4.7 million in the final year of his current contract, a five-year deal he signed in July of 2013.
Little is going into his 11th season with Winnipeg.
“I’m really excited. I knew when we first started talking this summer that I wanted to stay here for a long time, and if possible maybe even finish my career here,” Little said. “I’m really happy things worked out and we were able to get something done.”