The Winnipeg Jets made three roster moves on Monday. First, they signed 20-year-old defenceman Declan Chisholm to a three-year, entry-level contract, before opting not to sign either Jacob Cederholm or Giovanni Vallati by the National Hockey League’s deadline, allowing the two former draft picks to walk into unrestricted free agency with no further ties to the Jets organization.
The contract handed out by general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff was a standard three-year, entry-level deal, featuring an $825K annual average value. The deal will begin for the 2020-21 season and run through the completion of 2022-23. If skating with the Jets, Chisholm will earn $775K in 2020-21, if playing in the minors, he will make $70K.
A hard-shooting, right-handed blueliner, Chisholm was selected by Winnipeg in the fifth round (150th overall) of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, and has recently completed his fourth season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Peterborough Petes. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive stalwart put up big numbers for the Petes the past two seasons.
After registering just four goals and 25 points in 88 games over his first two seasons in the OHL, Chisholm upped his total to five goals and 48 points in 67 games during the 2018-19 season. The mobile defenceman saw yet another huge progression in 2019-20, with a 13-goal, 69-point campaign that featured a 1.17 point-per-game average. Chisholm’s 56 assists placed him second league-wide, while his 69 points put him third amongst all OHL defencemen.
The two other moves – or non-moves – on the day for Winnipeg were the decisions to take a pass on former draft picks Jacob Cederholm and Giovanni Vallati.
Following a number of years within Sweden’s junior, amateur, semi-pro and professional leagues, Cederholm, 22, joined the Jets’ ECHL affiliate for the 2018-19 season. The former 97th overall selection in the 2016 draft skated with Jacksonville for two years, collecting a goal and 13 points in 70 games. The lanky defenceman earned a call-up to the Manitoba Moose two seasons back, where he collected four penalty minutes in nine games.
Vallati, 20, was chosen 153rd overall in 2018, but failed to impress Winnipeg’s scouting staff with a decline in performance the past season with Oshawa of the OHL. Following a decent 2018-29 campaign with the Generals that saw 11 goals, 48 points and 74 penalty minutes, Vallati fell off the map in 2019-20, scoring just one goal and adding 26 assists in 61 games. Much like Cederholm, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound blueliner will surely get a look at a minor league deal in the coming months.