Last season – 10th in the Western Conference
The Jets are turning a page into the future. From great to be back, to inconsistency, a playoff-berth and a down season, it is looking brighter for the Jets, when some highly interesting Jets-fuel might be ignited. The biggest obstacle would be to get more going offensively, which they have a shot at with the new additions, and find a way to shut opponents down defensively, because their D wasn’t very good last season.
GM – Kevin Cheveldayoff
Entering his sixth season as the General Manager for the Winnipeg Jets, Cheveldayoff has for a while been stuck in the middle of nowhere. The trouble you can get when you are not a big market team. Several players have wanted to leave during the years and there haven’t seem to be a solid plan (not a view-able one) in place. Until now.
Scheifele is locked up long-term, and looks to be a “Toews-light”. A highly talented scoring winger from Finland is in place (Hello Déjà vu Jets-fans) with Laine and there seems to be a plan to organizing the back end.
Head Coach – Paul Maurice
Paul Maurice was exactly what they needed when getting hired two and a half years ago. Going into his third full season with the team, he has led them to a surprising playoff-birth in his first full season and an anonymous and struggling last place in the Central Division last year, far off a possible playoffs-spot.
Patrik Laine (LW), Shawn Matthias (C), Brian Strait (D)
18th overall pick 2016 (Logan Stanley, D), 79th overall pick 2016 (Luke Green, D), 7th round pick 2017
22nd overall pick 2016 (German Rubtsov, F), 36th overall pick 2016 (Pascal Laberge, F), 7th round pick 2016 (Arvid Hendrikson, D)
The Jets haven’t really done a whole lot in the offseason, but what they have done is important things. Signing Scheifele to a long-term deal and drafting Laine is huge for a team who’s looking to get back into the playoffs-mix. Outside that, I don’t think they have done anything to make them being much closer to a playoffs spot this season.
Trading away Trouba might give them something solid in return than can push them more in the right direction.
Goaltending – 5/10
Nothing great, nothing bad. Plain and simple, very anonymous part of the roster. There isn’t much separating these goalies, and it’s tough to see either of these being an instrumental part of a team that’s going to have success in the playoffs down the road. Depth-wise it’s good, but it’s like picking between mediocre movies to watch.
The Jets surprisingly waived Pavelec, which most likely will see his end with the team as the starter. It will also give the other two every opportunity to show that they can be legit NHL starting goaltenders. In addition, it can give the Jets more assets before or at the trade deadline.
Defense – 6/10
The Jets don’t have a stellar defense, but it isn’t quite bad either. Jacob Trouba will be traded when the correct suitor who offers what the Jets want in return. A young-ish defenseman should be in that return package. They have plenty of money locked up in their D for the next two seasons even without Trouba, and the question is, do they need to shuffle more?
It depends how this season goes with their current lineup.
Enstrom – Myers
Morrissey – Byfuglien
M. Stuart – Chiarot
Postma – Strait
Forwards – 6/10
The offensive lineup Jets have doesn’t scare anyone…yet! There is still a lot of work to be done, the first line looks good, while the second line looks unfinished or unpolished. Depth-wise they aren’t close to competing with the playoff-teams and steps need to be taken to ensure a better lineup. Right now, it’s between meh…and decent.
There is some skill there, but Cheveldayoff need to bring it to make the most of his recent good work. Expect Scheifele to improve from his 61 point season last year to 70+ this season. He’s a legit 1st liner, looking more like a Toews or Krejci light right now who will carry this team for years to come. With Wheelr size and the addition of Laine? Yes!
Ehlers – Scheifele – Wheeler
Laine – Little – Stafford
Connor – Perreault – Burmistrov
Matthias – Lowry – Armia
(B. Tanev – Dano – Peluso)
(Copp – Q. Howden)
Team Composition – 5/10
The goalies just aren’t good enough at the moment, one to make a stand is all one need. Will it come? Defense is good and got size, but it hasn’t proved anything as a unit at this level so far. That should be a concern. Offensively one got some building blocks, some size, some speed and a bit of skill, but put all of this together and you got a group where there still are too many problems and holes to cover than there is solutions at the moment.
Leadership presence – 5/10
There are some leadership profiles in this team, but not nearly enough experience that can drag them into the playoffs or deeper within the playoffs. It will come with some seasoning and some roster changes. Trouba on his way one, can secure some on its way in.
Skill Value – 6/10
As said, there is skill there. But, some of it is raw and some of it hasn’t been structured together in a way that sparks chemistry. There is a diamond in the rough, but we won’t scrape clear too much shine this season.