The Winnipeg Jets have been in Manitoba for three years now,
but have yet to make the playoffs.
Mathieu Perreault – C Al
Montoya – G
T.J Galiardi – LW Olli
Jokinen – C
Julien Brouillette – D Devin
Setoguchi – RW
Peter Budaj – G Zach
Redmond – D
In the middle of last season the cut ties with head coach
Claude Noel after a 19-23-5 start. They hired Paul Maurice, who led the team to
a 18-12-5 finish which gives the Jets a small glimmer of hope heading into
Aside from a new coach for a full season, the Jets are
largely the same team that they were last season. They only real difference is
they now have Mathieu Perreault instead of Olli Jokinen and Peter Budaj
as the backup to Ondrej Pavelec instead of Al Montoya, who is now in Florida.
Since we are on the topic, we will start with the
goaltenders. Pavelec was 22-26-7 with a 3.01 goals against average and .901
save percentage, both of which were the worst numbers he has posted in the
three years in Winnipeg. He has made a name for himself as one of the NHL’s
most inconsistent performers. He shows flashes of brilliance and on other
nights he looks like Swiss cheese. They recently acquired Peter Budaj from
Montreal to try and help stabilize the pipes.
At forward the Jets will be led by their top-6 that consists
of Evander Kane-Mark Scheifele-Blake Wheeler on one line and Andrew Ladd-Bryan
Little-Michael Frolik on the other. Scheifele had 13 goals and 21 assists (34
points) in 63 games last season, but should see a huge spike in those numbers
players with two high-scoring forwards in Kane and Wheeler. Wheeler is coming
off of a career-year and will also be looking for a 30-goal campaign. Little is
the team’s best playmaker and Ladd will contribute in every aspect of the game.
Dustin Byfuglien is also expected to play a full season at forward.
On the back-end Tobias Entrom is their consistent offensive
threat, having posted anywhere between 30-50 points in each of his 82-game
regular seasons. Zach Bogosian had a nice mini-breakout year in 2011-12, but
has been hampered by injuries over the last two seasons. Jacob Trouba is the
real deal on the Jets blueline. He was limited to 65 games because of a neck
injury in his rookie season, but still scored 10 goals with 19 assists (29
points). He should take a big step forward this season.
Season prediction: Winnipeg will finish last in the
difficult Central Division.
View the Jets’ entire roster and cap space heading into the