Winnipeg Jets Future Core

Everyone is always saying, “This is our year, we’ll put it off this time!” I’m not one to believe in every year being supposedly the year my team will win the Cup. But I’m not trying to be biased in this article – The Jets are gonna have their prime time in 2018. It’s a little early to predict too much yet, but when you take a look at the Winnipeg prospect pool, you can tell our strength will come as soon as they are all developed.

When you look at all the successful teams, you often find they have a consistent core of 5-8 strong players that lead them to wins. I’m going give my opinion on the future core of the Winnipeg Jets.

Adam Lowry ~ Lowry is one of my favorite players because you know you can always depend on him no matter what. He is consistent, physical, a great leader and has skill all over the ice. He played his first season in 14-15 and honestly, within the first month, you wouldn’t even know he was a rookie.

Mark Scheifele ~ Behind Jonathan Toews, Scheifs is hands down my favourite player in the league. But that’s not going to stop me from admitting that he is a bit of a wildcard. When he plays well, he’s a strong player that every team would want. But then he has a game that makes you just go, “Oh Scheifele!” But he’s still young, and I’m thinking he’ll serve as the veteran on the powerful Winnipeg team.

Jacob Trouba ~ Every team, as much as they need offensive talent, needs reliable defense. I’m thinking Trouba is really going to excel in that department. Right now, you can (mostly) depend on him to bail you out when need be. I think he’ll be a great asset to the Stanley Cup contenders.

Nik Ehlers ~ Last draft’s first rounder for the Jets was this Danish forward with incredible talent. He’s young and is yet to play an NHL game, but all of Winnipeg is excited for his up coming performances. He is small and quick and will be very important, I can already tell.

Brendan Lemieux ~ He wasn’t a pick, he actually came in a trade. He’s the son of Claude Lemieux, and though we haven’t seen much of him yet, we know he plays like his dad, which is promising. I think he will sneak up and be crucial.

Nic Petan ~ I know I’m repeating myself but it’s not everyday you score more goals in a game than Connor McDavid when playing on the same line as the hockey ‘God’ himself. But Petan managed to do it and earn the hats. He is small but is one of the most dedicated and talented players I’ve seen on the prospect pool (in my opinion).

Of course, like any other team, there are going to be other key players. Just because I didn’t put them down under my ‘core’ doesn’t mean they won’t be important. Hellebuyck, Comrie, De Leo, Copp, Armia, Roslovic, Toolman and other prospects are going to be important too (if they don’t go off to another team) but this is simply all a matter of opinion.

Go Jets Go!

NHL Expansion – Where To?

It’s been a while (almost 15 years) since the NHL added a team without taking one away. They’ve moved franchises (like Winnipeg to Phoenix, Atlanta to Winnipeg) over the years but we haven’t had an addition to the 30 teams in several years. The league is looking at adding two new teams to balance out the conferences. They need a city with lots of people and lots of money, and it’s been narrowed down.

There has been talk about putting in two new teams among these four towns: Kansas City, Quebec City, Las Vegas and Seattle. There are still several different opinions floating around, but in my mind, there are two cities that should get teams over the others.

Las Vegas • I don’t think Vegas is the perfect location for a team, but the NHL looks mainly for money, and well, Vegas has a fair share of that stuff. If the NHL put a team in Vegas, they would make tons of money off it.

Seattle • Not to stereo type, but it seems the more north you are, the more hockey fans there are. Seattle is a big city with many people, and there aren’t any teams very close there. It looks like the ideal market and location for a new NHL team.

Kansas City • I find that Kansas is a bit of a smoke and mirrors market for a hockey team. They already have the Royals and Chiefs, which have decent fanbases, but I don’t think it’s a great location for a team. Missouri already has the Blues, and there aren’t exactly enough hockey fans there to have an uber successful franchise. We’re also looking for two western teams, which Missouri doesn’t not qualify as.

Quebec City • As a Canadian, I would be thrilled to include another team in the country. But one of the government parties (conservative, liberal, etc.) is a ‘seperatist’ party, which means they are trying to make Quebec it’s own country. Therefore the league will not put a team there in case they are successful. Quebec is also an Eastern province, which is not where we’re looking to add onto.

As nice as it would be to see the return of the Nordiques and Scouts, I just don’t think it’s in the league’s best interest to bring them back, at least not yet. Hopefully we can expand our love for the sport into more states like Washington and Nevada and have a league even greater than we have now.

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Projected Lines – Winnipeg Jets 2015/2016

Many people create their own predictions for lines and rosters for their favourite teams, so why not join the trend? Here are my projected lines for the 2015-2016 Winnipeg Jets.

Line 1 • Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little, Nik Ehlers

Bryan Little, at the moment, is inarguably our top centre man. He is consistent throughout every game and is a strong leader other team members. Captain Ladd is one of our strongest wings who is physical and has a good shot. This would be Nik Ehlers’ rookie season, and though it may seem to be an odd choice to have him on your first line, he brings offensive skill to a new level. Since we lost Frolik in the free agency, there is an opening on our top line and he may be the perfect fit.

Line 2 • Drew Stafford, Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler

Drew Stafford came with Myers in the Bogosian/Kane trade and has been a great component to this team, and also plays well with these two lineys. Mark Scheifele is young and extremely fast, a reliable centerman with lots of years in his career left. Blake Wheeler has speed and experience among the young players and used to play on the top line. I chose to move him down because he plays best with these other two.

Line 3 • Andrew Copp, Adam Lowry, Mathieu Perrault

Copp played the last game of the season with us last year and this could be his rookie year. He is more mature than most of our prospects and could be very helpful to our lineup. Adam Lowry is young and talented. He looks to be the future captain of the Jets with great skill and leadership. Perrault may be small but he is fast, sharp and has a great shot. He missed a lot of last season with injury, but if he is healthy he will be a great asset to the roster.

Line 4 • Joel Armia, Alexander Burmistrov, Anthony Peluso

It’s looking like Joel Armia is gonna get a crack at making the Jets starting line up this year, potentially replacing veteran Chris Thorburn on this fourth line. Burmistrov was on the starting lineup when the Jets returned, but the franchise made the decision that he should be released to the KHL to mature. Now that he’s had some more experience, he’s back and may take opponents by surprise. Anthony Peluso isn’t afraid to drop the gloves. His biggest strength is his strength, and it’s good to have someone who’s willing to stand up for their teammates and throw a few punches.

Defence 1 • Jacob Trouba and Tyler Myers

Jacob Trouba was previously on the second line with Mark Stuart, but the team is trying to increase Trouba’s minutes and decrease Stuart’s, so I bumped him up to the first line. Tyler Myers, well, who doesn’t want this 6’8″ monster on their first line? He likes to pinch in offensively and reads the play extremely well.

Defence 2 • Tobias Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien

Tobi is small but mighty and has been a real leader among our d-men since the Jets returned. I moved him down to second line because I believe Trouba is a good fit for Myers and is our strongest pair. Big Buff wasn’t given that nickname for no reason. This wall of a defenseman will obliterate anyone in his path and is not afraid to take a big blow from the point.

Defence 3 • Mark Stuart and Adam Pardy/Jay Harrison/Paul Postma

Mark Stuart is one of the toughest guys on the team. He takes hits and dishes them out constantly and seems to be very consistent in that department. I think that our sixth defenseman will be one of these three rotating. Pardy has size, Harrison has experience and Postma has speed. They all come with their own advantages and I think at the beginning of the season, Paul Maurice will play all three and see who is the best fit for the team.

Starting Goalie • Michael Hutchinson

Yes, I know. Jets fans are going What??? But I personally think we will have more chance at success with Hutch in net. He is young, talented and moves well. He also catches with his right hand, which is rare. This can throw off snipers when they try to shoot on him. I think he may be our key to success.

Backup Goalie • Ondrej Pavelec

At the end of the season, Pav showed everyone that he was good enough to be our starter, putting an end mostly to the Hutch is Clutch riot. But in my opinion, you can’t just ignore the rest of the season. Pav was inconsistent and Hutchinson had to come in and save us. However, he still showed he could be good when we needed him, which is why I think we have to potential starter goalies.

Potential Backups When Injuries Occur • Connor Hellebuyck, Peter Budaj

Hellebuyck was outstanding in the Worlds as the starter for team US. He is young, but I think he has what it takes to come in and win us a few of need be. Budaj is a veteran, a recent pickup from the Habs, and I think he is dependable for when the time comes.

Thank you everyone for reading, please leave comments below on what you thought about the article. If it’s hate, I don’t want to hear it, but if it’s suggestions or compliments, I’m all ears. Go Jets Go✈️

That’s a Wrap • Wpg Dev Camp 2015

Winnipeg fans excitedly packed the MTS Ice Plex this weekend to watch new prospects do drills and scrimmage together for their first ever practices as Jets.

I myself went to the final day of Dev Camp where all the draft picks were put on teams and played. Here are some of the evaluations I made on the future of Winnipeg.

Kyle Connor – well, Connor seems to be an extremely talented individual. He’s extremely fast and has good hockey smarts. To me, his main disadvantage is size. I ran into him at a mall in Winnipeg and he wasn’t a whole lot taller than me, and I’m only 5.4″. I know that you shouldn’t judge someone just by their appearance, but it could be a weakness for him and our team.

Josh Morrisey – again, extremely talented, but at the same time, he’s another small player. Morrisey is a defenseman, and he isn’t big. The Jets already have a small defenseman (Toby Enstrom) and many experts say Josh won’t get a chance to play until we can trade Enstrom for a bigger guy to even out our size.

Chase De Leo – man, we can’t get enough of our little guys. De Leo is fast, a sniper and equipped with incredible knowledge of the game, but when you’re small like he is, it’s just a disadvantage. Most Jets fans are expecting him to make the team this season.

Nic Petan – another small guy, but it’s not every day you find people scoring hattys in a IIHF game. Petan has amazing talent and would work very well with the Jets roster if there’s enough room.

Nik Ehlers – do we finally have a big guy? Nope, another pint sized kid. But don’t let that distract you, he didn’t go first round for nothing. Him and Timo Meier lead the Halifax Mooseheads past the Shawinigan Cataractes in the first round of the 2015 QMJHL playoffs. He’s extremely talented and will be a good addition to our lineup this year.

Jack Roslavic – Roslavic is one of our many American picks in the 2015 draft. we haven’t seen much of him yet, but he’s incredibly skilled
also and is quick and sharp.

Eric Comrie – Tendy. IIHF champion. Enough said.

Connor Hellebuyck – Connor lead the Americans through victory after victory by dominating the net. He’s going to be an extremely important component to the future of the Jets.

Brendan Lemieux – Well, if you know anything about hockey, you know who Claude Lemieux is, and this kid plays like his dad. So you know where that’s gonna lead.

There are several other players that will definitely help the jets fulfil their given title ‘cup champs of 2019’ like Kosmachuk, Harkins, Niku, Copp, Toolman and many others. I won’t get into detail with all of them because there are too many future stars to explain.

Thanks everyone for reading my article, please suggest what to write about next 🙂