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Former Jets prospect Leon Gawanke signs one-year, two-way contract with the San Jose Sharks

The former Jets prospect has himself a new NHL deal.

Shortly after the AHL season for the Manitoba Moose concluded we learned that Jets 2017 5th rounder Leon Gawanke was choosing to sign a four-year deal back in his home country of Germany with Adler Mannheim of the DEL. He was coming off a record setting season including most goals by a Moose defenceman in one season.

At the time he was a Jets RFA and the team sent him a qualifying offer in order to retain his rights. Some folks were wondering why they did because he had signed a four year deal to play in the DEL after not getting an opportunity to play with the Jets. The fact is it gave Winnipeg a chance to recoup an asset which is what we discussed on the Illegal Curve Hockey Show.

A day after that show aired we learned that he had been traded to the Sharks for defenceman Artemi Kniasev. The Jets got a chance to add the 2019 2nd rounder, who is waiver exempt, for an asset that they had zero chance of ever bringing back into the fold.

On July 5th the Sharks announced that they had signed Gawanke to a one-year, two-way contract.

Not surprisingly his team in Germany announced the four-year deal he signed with them is suspended for now. This is the quote from team manager Jan-Axel Alavaara :

“When we signed Leon, we were aware that this could happen. Leon remains a talented young defenseman who deservedly got his chance in the NHL and took it. Of course, it won’t be easy to close his gap, but I’m sure we’ll find a solution,”

Given the state of the Sharks team he will certainly get a shot to play his first NHL game this season. If he makes the team the Jets could face him in San Jose December 12th or January 4th or in Winnipeg on February 14th