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Report: Winnipeg Jets draft pick/Moose Dman Leon Gawanke signs four-year deal in Germany

Not the news we expected to be reporting about the Jets draft pick.

We literally just finished Manitoba Moose exit interviews of Monday and one of the players we spoke with was defenceman Leon Gawanke, who was a Jets 2017 5th rounder and who has patrolled the blueline for the last four years here in Winnipeg.

The season he just concluded was his most impressive as a pro in North America and which included him scoring 20 goals which set a new Moose record for goals by a blueliner.

Leon Gawanke faceoff

Photo Credit: Colby Spence (Illegal Curve)

I really expected the next news to report on the defenceman from Berlin was that he was being added to the German World Championship team, which we can report has been confirmed.

However more importantly he has also signed a four-year deal with Adler Mannheim of the German DEL the team is reporting. (Google translate version here).

He is an RFA with arbitration rights so I suspect the Jets will do what they did with 2017 1st rounder Kristian Vesalainen and qualify him  to retain his rights and then assign him to the European club.

Personally I thought the organization made a mistake not getting him into his first NHL game this season. Gawanke still had a ways to go defensively but this move weakens the organizational depth for the Jets/Moose on the right side.

Stick tap to reader Greg for the heads up.