After a quiet couple of weeks the Colorado Avalanche announced another depth signing in goaltender Jonas Johansson to a one-year contract extension for the 2021-22 season. The 25-year old would have been a Group IV unrestricted free agent on July 28th. The deal is reported to be a two-way contract worth $750k at the NHL level and 300k at the AHL level.
Jonas Johansson signed a one-year contract with the Avalanche on Tuesday. Financial terms were not disclosed.https://t.co/xUL0WKkjDr— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) June 29, 2021
Johansson was obtained by the Avalanche from the Buffalo Sabres on March 20th for a 2021 sixth round pick to help solidify their depth in net. Johansson arrived with a 3.79 goals against average and a .884 save percentage in seven games with the Sabres but improved on those figures with a 2.06 GAA and .913 SV% in eight games in Colorado. Despite getting run out of Buffalo he was solid for the Avalanche when called upon. Highlights in that short stint include his first NHL shutout and Johansson also helped secure the President’s Trophy by backstopping a must win final game of the regular season with a 5-1 victory.
This signing might seem curious to some with the decision on Philipp Grubauer — or somehow acquiring another starter — a much more pressing need especially with Justus Annunen, Hunter Miska, Trent Miner and Pavel Francouz already under contract for the 2021-22 season. With the low salary and two-way component to this deal Johansson will likely need to clear waivers and play in the AHL at some point making for a crowded minor league situation in net but as the last several years have shown that depth will be utilized.
The reality is that for several years the Avalanche have failed to enter a season with a third goaltender type under contract which then has required them to make an in-season trade just to have an extra goaltender for the playoffs. Those deals for the likes of Michael Hutchinson, Antoine Bibeau and Johansson himself cost assets for a position that is easily filled with this type of signing. Getting Johansson under contract is proactive smart business plus with the limited success Johansson has experienced with the Avalanche there is comfort with the situation if he had to in fact start a few games in the NHL.