26-Year-Old Defenseman – Free Agent
Jesse Blacker Contract Information:
Signed with European team Thomas Sabo in April of 2016.
Blacker wasn't tendered a qualifying offer by the Panthers on Monday and will become an unrestricted free agent, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.
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Jesse Blacker: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Jesse Blacker.
Blacker has potential as a steady top-four NHL defender, but he's currently biding his time with the AHL Marlies. His development curve has been a little slower than some people would like and he's at risk of being overtaken by guys like draftees Stuart Percy and Matt Finn, and trade acquisition T. J. Brennan. Still, he'll push for a spot with the Leafs this season, but will likely spend another year in the AHL, simply because of his contract flexibility.
Blacker is a good, all-round defender with an offensive touch. He will flash his potential at camp this year and maybe even give a couple guys a scare. But he'll be best served getting another AHL season under his belt. Do keep his name in the back of your head, though -- there's enough talent there for him to be a reliable top-four blueliner some day.
Blacker can skate well and pass the puck with laser-like accuracy. But to be honest, thatís pretty much a prerequisite for the average young NHL defender these days. Blackerís offensive game took a big leap last year in Owen Sound when his defensive game finally rounded into form and he finished with a career-high 10 goals and 54 points in 62 games. And itís that two-way combination that has jumped his stock even higher on the Leafsí depth chart. Heíll spend at least a full-year -- if not more -- in the AHL but some day, heíll be the Budsí power-play QB Ö and for a long time.
Blacker is a good skater and one of the few defenders in the Leafs' system with true offensive upside. He has all the markings of a top-four NHL defender but we really want to see him explode his skills this year in the OHL. He should be on the watch list for deep keeper leagues but don't roster him yet.
Blacker is a steady defenseman. Nothing terribly fancy, but he's pretty decent in his own zone and he makes a pretty good first outlet pass. His time on the ice has been limited thus far but he's a very nice skater. We expect him to blossom significantly in Windsor (OHL) this coming season and could end up being a real find.