Manitoba Moose Star Defensemen Signs Back Home in Germany

Leon Gawanke skating for the Manitoba Moose

A quieter news piece on May 9th, Winnipeg Jets prospect Leon Gawanke had signed a four-year deal with Adler Mannheim in the DEL. Leon Gawanke was impressive in his 68-game stint with the Manitoba Moose, posting 20 goals and 25 assists for 45 points; Gawanke would also post 51 PIMS. Leon Gawanke will remain with Adler Mannehim in the DEL until 2027.

Selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the fifth round, 136th overall, in the 2017 NHL entry draft, the 6’1 defenseman played some junior player hockey in Germany before transitioning to the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the QMJHL. Gawanke would continue to be impressive after his transition to the QMJHL, posting 29 goals and 92 assists for 121 points in his 178 games for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.

Leon Gawanke would then turn his focus and get his professional contract, where he would exclusively play for the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League. The 23-year-old defenseman would never get a call-up to play for the Winnipeg Jets.

In Gawanke’s 207 games with the Manitoba Moose, Gawanke would 35 goals and 79 assists for 114 points. Gawanke would play out his entire entry-level contract and then sign a one-year deal for the 2022-23 season.

Leon Gawanke wasn’t a huge factor in the five playoff games that he appeared in this year. His regular season wonders seemed to just fizzle out on him. If the Jets choose to retain Gawanke’s rights, they will have to issue Leon Gawanke a qualifying offer. This offer would solely keep Gawanke within the Winnipeg Jets system. Gawanke will be 28 if he chooses to return to the Winnipeg Jets system. Unless Leon Gawanke impresses the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose systems, I don’t think a role with the Winnipeg Jets is likely for the German-born defenseman.

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