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Jets lock up Screaming Eagles' Gawanke: D-man likely plays for AHL's Moose in fall

Winnipeg Jets Leon Gawanke (left) picks up the puck from behind his net while pressured by Calgary Flames Adam Ruzicka during NHL preseason hockey action at the Young Stars Classic held at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, BC, September, 11, 2017. On Thursday, the Jets announced they've signed Gawanke to an entry level contract. (Richard Lam/PNG
Winnipeg Jets Leon Gawanke (left) picks up the puck from behind his net while pressured by Calgary Flames Adam Ruzicka during NHL preseason hockey action at the Young Stars Classic held at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, BC, September, 11, 2017. On Thursday, the Jets announced they've signed Gawanke to an entry level contract. (Richard Lam/PNG

The Winnipeg Jets agreed to terms with defenceman Leon Gawanke on a three-year, entry-level deal that carries an average annual value of $810,000 in the NHL on Thursday.

Gawanke, who was chosen by the Jets in the fifth round (136 th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft, is coming off a season that saw him produce career-bests in goals (17), assists (40) and points (57) with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The Jets needed to sign Gawanke before June 1 or he would have gone back into the 2019 NHL Draft.

Gawanke, a 19-year-old from Germany, is a mobile, puck-moving defenceman and he will begin his pro career with the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League this fall.

The right-handed shooting blue-liner finished third in scoring among defencemen in the QMJHL this season.

Gawanke had 29 goals and 121 points in three seasons with the Screaming Eagles.

kwiebe@postmedia.com

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