The first UFA signing of the day for the Jackets is defenseman Erik Gudbranson.
The club signed Gudbranson to a four-year deal with an AAV/cap hit of $4M through the 2025-26 season. Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the agreement and TSN's Bob McKenzie was the first to report the terms of the contract.
Sounds like Erik Gudbranson is going to Columbus— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 13, 2022
Four-year, $16MM deal for the Blue Jackets' newest defenseman, 30-year-old Erik Gudbranson. #CBJ https://t.co/SdplmaoF4k— 1st Ohio Battery (@1stOhioBattery) July 13, 2022
"Adding experience, size and toughness to our blueline was a priority for us this summer and Erik Gudbranson fits that bill perfectly," Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen said. "He also has tremendous character and will be a great addition to our leadership group. We couldn't be more excited to welcome Erik, his wife, Sarah, and son, Bennett, to the Blue Jackets family."
Gudbranson was the third overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft and spent the 2021-22 season with the Calgary Flames. In 78 regular-season games last season, he recorded six goals and 17 points while registering 145 hits and 92 blocked shots. In 12 playoff games, he added an assist, 17 hits, and 13 blocked shots. He is 30 years old and will be 34 when the contract is scheduled to expire.
In 641 career regular-season games, Gudbranson has posted 27 goals, 94 points, 1,475 hits, and 767 blocked shots. In 31 career playoff games, he's recorded one goal, two points, 66 hits, and 35 blocked shots.