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J.T. Compher explains why he signed a 5-year deal with Detroit Red Wings

Forward J.T. Compher was among yesterday’s many free-agent additions by the Detroit Red Wings. The former Colorado Avalanche Stanley Cup winner agreed to a five-year contract with an annual average cap hit of $5.1 million a year.

Detroit Red Wings JT Compher

J.T. Compher is a former Michigan Wolverine

Just like his new Red Wings teammates in Dylan Larkin and Andrew Coppp, Compher arrives in Detroit having already played locally at the University of Michigan, just 40 minutes outside of downtown Detroit. Before that, he played for the United States National Team Development Program, also located in Ann Arbor.

Compher, Larkin, and Copp were all teammates at Michigan in 2014-15, as the Wolverines would advance to the Conference Championship game, an eventual loss to Minnesota.

A native of Illinois, he was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres 35th overall in 2013. However, he’s only played for the Avalanche and has amassed 194 points (88G, 106A) in 423 NHL games.

Compher explained why he chose the Red Wings

It was a conversation with GM Steve Yzerman as well as talking with his former Michigan teammates, that helped sell him on coming to Detroit.

“There are a lot of attractive parts about playing for the Red Wings,” Compher said. “I think at the end of the day, it was my conversation with Steve and hearing about the direction of the Wings and what he was trying to build. I really believed in what he’s doing, the sort of people they want to bring in. You want to have a great team on the ice, but you need to have good guys in the room.

“But overall, it was the direction of the team, the desire to win. I could hear it in their voice. That’s what we want as players, a chance to build and try to win championships. They said they love the room and they have a really good group of guys that want to win,” Compher went on to say. “I was excited to work together and try to make the playoffs and push the team into being as good as it can be. They both had really good things to say about management and coaches.”

Compher has already experienced winning the Stanley Cup, having done so with the Avalanche in 2022. But as players will tell you, winning one championship isn’t the goal – it’s to win multiple times.

“We had some success in Colorado, but it took a lot of building,” Compher said. “My first year we were the worst team in the league (2016-17). I’ve seen both sides of it and I know what it takes. I’m excited to be with this group and build towards the ultimate goal of winning a championship, and it starts with making the playoffs.”

Key Points

  • J.T. Compher was one of many free-agent additions by the Detroit Red Wings
  • He is a former Wolverine and played with Dylan Larkin and Andrew Copp
  • He won the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 2022
  • Speaking with his old teammates and with Steve Yzerman sold him on Detroit

Wrapping It Up

Compher’s addition to the Red Wings brings valuable championship experience that the younger and less experienced players can learn from.

We’re hoping that Compher, along with the other new faces on the Red Wings, will be able to help them break their lengthy postseason drought of seven years. He sounds like he knows that working toward winning the Stanley Cup requires building, and he wants to be a part of it.

One Comment

  1. I think Compher is a good player. I think he will help the DRW get to the playoffs – probably next year (Toronto and Boston are going all out to win this year, so they will decline in 2024-35. Having said all of that, his contract was a year or two too long and a million too rich! If SY was looking for a difference maker, a trade fir Konecny or Nylander would seem a good move. I doubt if Debrinket is any longer in the mix – unless Ottawa gets real about the payback.

Written by Paul Tyler

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