Left-winger Carl Klingberg, who has suited up for more games for the St. John’s IceCaps than any other player in the franchise’s three-year history, has been signed to a one-year, two-way contract by the parent Winnipeg Jets.
Klingberg, who was a restricted free agent, has appeared in 197 games with the American Hockey League IceCaps, scoring 48 goals and adding 54 assists. His 103 points is third-most among IceCaps all time, behind only captain Jason Jaffray (145) and Eric O’Dell (119).
Last season, the 23-year-old native from Daniel Alfredsson’s hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden, had 22 goals and 21 assists in 65 games for St. John’s and appeared in three games for the Jets, recording his first-ever National Hockey League goal and point.
Klingberg, a second-round pick (34th overall) of the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, has appeared in 10 NHL games, one with Atlanta and nine with the Jets.
His new contract calls for a $650,000 salary at the NHL level and $75,000 in the AHL.
Klingberg was one of five Jets restricted free agents who spent the majority of last season with the IceCaps. The others are forwards O’Dell, John Albert and Patrice Cormier and defenceman Ben Chiarot. All have been given qualifying offers by Winnipeg, meaning, in all likelihood, they will be returning to the organization for next season; it’s just a matter of finalizing deals.
With Klingberg’s signing, there are now 13 players who played with St. John’s last season who are under contract to the Jets organization and are eligible to play in the AHL in 2014-15.
The others are goaltenders Michael Hutchinson and Jussi Olkinuora, defencemen Julian Melchiori, Will O’Neill, Brenden Kichton and Jordan Hill, and forwards Jaffray, Blair Riley, Kyle McKinnon, Adam Lowry, JC Lipon and Austen Brassard.
All are under NHL contracts, except for Jaffray, Riley, McKinnon and Hill, who agreed to AHL deals earlier this week.
In addition, there are three players with NHL entry-level contracts — goalie Connor Hellebuyck and forwards Scott Kosmachuk and Ryan OIsen — who are expected to be with the IceCaps this season.