Sunday, September 14, 2014

Byfuglien & Burns... Where Are They Listed?

In a conversation with TSN's Bob McKenzie, Winnipeg Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff did acknowledge the idea that head coach Paul Maurice will likely keep Dustin Byfuglien up in his forward role, hinting that he would move back to the blueline, if needed.

Last season, before the draft had started, it was important to note the position of Byfuglien or San Jose's Brent Burns, of where they were going to be placed, given the nature of the game they play.  As it so happened, both players were listed as defensemen, but as much as Byfuglien started the year as a defender, he finished the year as a forward.  Burns, on the other hand, started as a forward and finished as a forward, despite the belief he would end up on the blueline anyways.

This season, Byfuglien will be acknowledged as a forward, despite being the 4th ranked defenseman in pool scoring last season, since that is the belief of the management and coaching staff, going into the 2015 year.  Arguably, the word is that with the departure of Dan Boyle from the Shark Tank, Burns will now head back to the blueline and be a defenseman full-time.

Assumptions have been made previously and now with some proper word on each plan going forward, an informed decision will be made going into this year's draft.

In Winnipeg, the impact does somewhat shift from the forward lines to the blueline, where a job has opened up on the projected roster.  The Jets have been showcasing the talents of Brenden Kichton and Josh Morrissey in Penticton at the Young Stars Classic, so these two have a shot at making the climb, while a job may have been taken away from some of their young forwards.  Further studying at camp may be necessary there, since there are some question marks about some of the Winnipeg forwards.

As for San Jose, since Burns was considered a defenseman at the end of last year and into this year, there isn't much change in my projections.  Burns has a legitimate shot at leading the way for the Sharks back end and there are still some jobs to be had on that projected roster, heading into training camp.

So, just to recap, at the draft in a couple of weeks, Byfuglien will move to the forward spots, while Burns will remain a defenseman, even though he saw most of his year at forward in 2014.

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