With a crop of young, talented forwards, mixed with some more veteran players up front, the Winnipeg Jets locked up one of the latter on Thursday for the next six-plus years.
The Jets announced a six-year extension for center Bryan Little worth $31.75 million ($5.291 annually) that will begin in the 2018-19 season; Little was entering the final year of his current contract.
— #RiseTogether (@NHLJets) September 14, 2017
Little recorded 47 points last season, sixth on a Jets roster that featured a lot of point producers. Playing center on a line with Blake Wheeler, Little was one of the more commonly-used Jets forwards, fourth in average time-on-ice at 17:33 per-game.
With the deal kicking in next season, Little, who turns 30 in November, will be signed in Winnipeg through his age-36 season in 2023-24. In 2013-14, as a 26-year-old, Little produced a 64-point season, a career-high, coinciding with the one time in his career he appeared in all 82 games.
Since then, his overall production and appearances have dropped; Little has played 70, 57, and 59 games respectively since. Little's 0.80 points-per-game last season was a career high, though a fractured vertebrae forced him to miss about a quarter of the season.
Little was one of seven Jets players to eclipse the 45-point mark a season ago, along with defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, and fellow forwards Mathieu Perreault, Nikolaj Ehlers, Patrik Laine, Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele. Little finished fourth among that group in points-per-game.