Josh Jooris made the most of his opportunity with the Calgary Flames last season. Now, the former Union College standout has been rewarded.
Jooris and the Flames avoided a salary arbitration hearing when they agreed to a one-year contract Friday, a one-way deal worth $975,000. That means if Jooris is sent to the minors, he’s still paid an NHL salary.
Jooris, a restricted free agent, was scheduled to have his hearing Tuesday.
“It feels good,” said Jooris, who had 29 goals and 59 assists in 117 games with Union from 2010-13. ”The two sides never want to get to point [of a hearing]. Calgary is the place where I want to be. They’re the place that gave me the best opportunity and the first opportunity. I’m really grateful to be back with the organization.”
Jooris’ agent, Todd Reynolds, is happy to get the deal done.
“[Avoiding arbitration] is always the agenda for both sides,” Reynolds said. “You’re always working toward that end. We had productive talks from the beginning, really. It was just a matter of time. Both sides are elated to avoid arbitration next week.”
Jooris first signed with the Flames as a free agent
July 30, 2013, just before the start of his senior season with the Dutchmen. He spent the 2013-14 season in the AHL with the Abbotsford Heat. He played in two games with the Adirondack Flames the next season before getting called up by Calgary Oct. 16. He played the next night against Columbus and scored his first NHL goal. Jooris also had his first NHL hat trick against Arizona on Dec. 2.
“Josh had a terrific year,” Flames assistant general manager Brad Pascall said. “First and foremost, he came to camp with a good mindset. He came to camp in tremendous shape. He turned a lot of heads in camp for our coaches and for our management with his work ethic and relentless pursuit of the puck.
“We sent him down to the American League, and we told him you never know what could happen. Sure enough, we had a couple of injuries and he was our first call-up. He didn’t turn back.”
Jooris played in 60 games, and had 12 goals and 12 assists. He appeared in nine Stanley Cup playoff games as the Flames reached the Western Conference semifinals, but didn’t record a point.
He’s looking forward to improving his game this season.
“It’s an organization that complacency isn’t in the vocabulary,” Jooris said. ”It’s, obviously, nice and rewarding. It’s something I can be proud of and my family can enjoy. I want to continue to earn it. You have to constantly continue to improve yourself.”
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