WINNIPEG, Manitoba Massena native Zach Bogosian hopes to skate for the Winnipeg Jets for quite a while longer after signing a seven-year, $36 million contract with the NHL team Monday.
Bogosian, a defenseman, played 33 games for Winnipeg last season and finished with five goals and nine assists. The 23-year-old, who has played in the NHL for five seasons already, has registered 34 goals and 69 assists in 297 career games, all with the Jets franchise, including the teams days as the Atlanta Thrashers.
Ive made it clear since my first time being in Winnipeg that its a place Ive wanted to be for a long time, said Bogosian in a conference call. Im just real happy that Winnipeg believed in me and gave me another chance to prove myself.
Bogosian was the last of the Jets restricted free agents. A member of the so-called Big Three of free-agent Jets, he followed the signings of right-winger Blake Wheeler (6 years, $33.6 million) and center Bryan Little (5 years, $23.5 million).
Bogosian was drafted third overall by Atlanta in 2008. The Thrashers stood by their young player, who was skating in the NHL as an 18-year-old, despite some rough times. Bogosian recorded a plus-minus of minus-27 for the 34-36-12 Thrashers in 2010-11.
I didnt exactly have the best start to my career in Atlanta and obviously moving up to Winnipeg gave me a chance to play in a hockey market and play in a hockey town, said Bogosian, whose brother, Aaron, played in the AHL and ECHL last season. Thats where the term came in, it was definitely a no-brainer for me to want to stay there for a long time.
Bogosian, last week, was announced as one of the players invited to U.S. Olympic orientation camp that will take place next month.
Aside from re-signing Bogosian, Wheeler and Little, the Jets have also added right wing Michael Frolik, who they acquired in a trade with Stanley Cup champion Chicago, and right winger Devin Setoguchi, picked up in a deal with Minnesota.
Earlier this month, the Jets signed defenseman Grant Clitsome, a former Clarkson player.