The Winnipeg Jets have two restricted free agents who elected to declare salary arbitration. Forward Morgan Barron and newly acquired forward Gabriel Vilardi both have their hearing dates set. Morgan Barron, 24 years old, scored a career-high in goals (eight), assists (13), and points (21) in his 70-game stint with the Winnipeg Jets this year. Gabriel Vilardi, 23 years old, was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings, where he also posted a career-high in goals (23), assists (18), and points (41) in his 63-game stint with the Kings.
Morgan Barron’s Arbitration Case
Morgan Barron, listed at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, has been an incredible third-line player for the Winnipeg Jets in the 2022-23 season. The Halifax, Nova Scotia native was drafted in the sixth round at 174th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers. Barron struggled to find his role with the Rangers and then was eventually traded to the Winnipeg Jets on March 21st, 2022, in the deal that saw Andrew Copp being traded to the Rangers.
Up until the 2022-23 season, Barron would always split time between the NHL and AHL. With Winnipeg getting a new bench boss in Rick Bowness this year, Barron would be given the opportunity to become a full-time third-line player.
Morgan Barron’s salary arbitration hearing case is set for August 2nd, 2023. While he isn’t the big fish in the player to elect salary arbitration, Morgan Barron is expected to receive a nice pay raise. Expect something similar to Dylan Samberg’s two-year, $1.4 million dollar contract to be comparable to Morgan Barron in the arbitration case.
Gabriel Vilardi’s Arbitration Case
This is definitely one of the more interesting arbitration cases to date. Gabriel Vilardi, newly acquired via the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade, could not reach an agreement for a contract with his new team and chose to elect salary arbitration. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, the Kingston, Ontario native is definitely looking to earn a long-term contract and full-time roster spot with the Winnipeg Jets. Drafted 11th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Vilardi has shown promising signs of constant improvement and can definitely help the Winnipeg Jets create a new identity on and off the ice.
As previously mentioned, Vilardi is coming off of a career-high season across the entire stat sheet. The Jets have a promising young player that they still have time to negotiate, but time is slowly running out, and Vilardi may get his new contract via salary arbitration.
Gabriel Vilardi’s salary arbitration hearing case is set for July 28th, 2023. It isn’t every day that you acquire a new player, and they immediately elect salary arbitration, Vilardi is that case now. Vilardi will get a nice cushy new contract that may look rough at first, but Vilardi’s ceiling is high, and it may be a gamble of a contract, especially with the salary cap increasing massively over the next few seasons. I fully expect Vilardi to receive a contract similar to teammate Alex Iafallo who is in the third year of his four-year contract worth $4 million annually. I can see Vilardi receiving a two-to-three year bridge deal worth $3.5 million annually.