As per an NHLPA release, restricted free agent defenseman Jamie Oleksiak has officially filed for arbitration. He’s the last Penguin from the 2017-18 roster eligible to do so this offseason.
Per Matt Cane (@Cane_Matt) and his 2018 free agent predictor model, Oleksiak should end up making somewhere along the lines of two years at $1.7 million AAV, though, according to a source, the “Big Rig” manages to agree to a deal around the $1.75 million mark.
Pittsburgh currently only has around $2.8 million left in cap room (via CapFriendly), so GM Jim Rutherford won’t be going any higher than that, and a small check for the big man would be ideal against it, especially if Rutherford still wants to make any more splash additions in free agency.
The Penguins, most notably the coaching staff, saw a lot of development in a short amount of time by Oleksiak and really like what he brings to the team, so I suspect a deal will get done rather shortly. In the 47 games he played in Pittsburgh after getting traded from the Dallas Stars, Oleksiak tallied together four goals and 10 helpers for 14 points. For a more comprehensive breakdown of his performance in the Steel City, check out our 2018 player report card of him.
After this signing, Pittsburgh will likely possess one of the most expensive defensive groupings in the NHL and a decent bit of depth heading into the new season.