The Winnipeg Jets are pleased to announce they have agreed to terms with defenceman Paul Postma on a new contract. As per club policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Postma, 23, played in 56 games with the St. John’s IceCaps last season where he accumulated 44 points (13G, 31A), ranking second on the club’s leaderboard, and 32 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 15 Calder Cup Playoff games with the IceCaps for 10 points (1G, 9A) and 14 penalty minutes. He led all IceCaps defenceman in scoring during both the regular and post season.
"Paul is someone that been through the organization from a development standpoint for a period of time," Jets' GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said Friday in a conference call. "He’s put up some great numbers at the American Hockey League level and we’re hopeful that that trend and that development can continue in the next stage of his career and hopefully produce and be an impact player at the National Hockey League level."
The Red Deer, AB native has played in four career NHL games between Atlanta and Winnipeg. He made his debut with the Jets on Nov. 5, 2011 in New Jersey against the Devils. He has played in 188 career AHL games between Chicago and St. John’s for 118 career points (40G, 78A) and 118 penalty minutes. Postma has appeared in both the 2010-11 and 2011-12 AHL All-Star Games and was named to the AHL First All-Star team last season.
He was originally drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the seventh round, 205th overall, in the 2007 NHL Draft.
"Paul has finished his entry-level deal," Chevy confirmed. "When you enter into your next contract, regardless of it’s a one-way or two-way, you would require waivers to be sent to the American Hockey League. If he were unsuccessful in making the Jets, he would have to clear waivers."
So, the biggest question is, what does Postma need to show to make sure that he doesn't end up in that position of being put on waivers?
"Continue the progress and continue the development that has occurred in his game to this point in time," said Chevy. "He is a big player, a tall player that has had good summer developments on the physical side, getting bigger and stronger each and every year that he’s been in the organization and we expect that trend to continue. He has a really heavy amp hard shot that at the American Hockey League level is certainly legendary and we’ve seen that on several different occasions up here.
"Paul had a very good pre-season last year and was very close to being a part of the Jets’ opening night roster but the opportunity to go and hone the game on both sides of it under Keith McCambridge and Mark Morrison in St. John’s has helped him tremendously."
One number on Postma's stat card that could use improvement was his plus-14 through the 56 regular season games played with the IceCaps. A number Chevy was quick to shrug off for the moment.
"There’s room for improvement in a lot of players’ games," said Chevy. "To become a complete player you have to be able to play both sides of the game. In Paul’s case, there’s times where offensive players do take some opportunities that are risk-reward but for the most part, the reward factor with the way he’s played has been the positive thing in his game. He has a lot to prove and a lot to continue to improve on just like every player."
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