Tuesday, August 15, 2017

2018 Pool Projections: Winnipeg

Could this be the breakout year that we're all waiting for out of the Winnipeg Jets?  We've been hearing stories of this team having all sorts of potential in the pipelines and now that it is all being refined, we could be on the verge of a really big season... but then again, the hockey gods have been awfully cruel to them of late, forcing some bad luck upon this up-and-coming team.

There's no doubt that this team has most of the pieces in place and there are some players that need to take that extra step to be what the team needs to succeed overall, so they are really close and it will be a matter of just translating that potential into actual results, which will be the number one task for this coaching staff.

The Jets have a number one centre, a lethal sniper from the wing, a stable of stud defensemen and they went out and signed a new number one goalie to round out this team's roster.  The trick will be to stay healthy, find some consistency and with that, they should start to reel off some success.

I would like to have propelled a few of these numbers into some breakout totals, but I think the strength from the back end is where we're going to see the greatest improvements and that should help lift them into the playoff picture after just falling short last season.  I would be pretty excited, if I got one or two of the Jets key blueliners in the pool this year and so should you.

Player Pos 17/18 Proj Rookie
Mark Scheifele F 75 N
Blake Wheeler F 75 N
Steve Mason G 65 N
Bryan Little F 60 N
Patrik Laine F 60 N
Nikolaj Ehlers F 60 N
Dustin Byfuglien D 55 N
Mathieu Perreault F 45 N
Jacob Trouba D 35 N
Adam Lowry F 30 N
Tyler Myers D 30 N
Connor Hellebuyck G 30 N
Shawn Matthias F 20 N
Joel Armia F 20 N
Toby Enstrom D 20 N
Dmitry Kulikov D 20 N
Joshua Morrissey D 20 N
Andrew Copp F 15 N
Marko Dano F 10 N
Nic Petan F 10 N
Ben Chiarot D 10 N
Michael Hutchinson G 10 N
Kyle Connor F 5 Y

Table last updated on August 9th

Most Intriguing or Breakout Player

We're all going to be looking for those picks that might slip through the cracks a little bit and the most intriguing player among the Winnipeg Jets roster is defenseman Tyler Myers, who only played in 11 games, due to injury, last season.

The intrigue stems from the injury and how much time he actually missed in the season, as the Jets hope that surgery in February helped enough that he could be 100% again for the start of training camp.  If he is deemed healthy and can stay that way, it may get the opportunity to break out again and surprise a few people.  Definitely keep him on your radar, if possible.

First Round Picks

The Jets have been slowly, but surely, working their way into the opening round of the hockey pool draft and it looks like they now have a couple of solid options and they could be well on their way to a couple more in the next couple of seasons as well.  Right now, the combination of Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler appear to be solid scoring options for this team and they have scored at such a consistent pace, they could be deemed 1st round worthy.

Other Pool Worthy Forwards

There are a few more options from the Jets forwards that will likely be popular and should be taken into consideration, like Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers, the young snipers, as well as cagey veterans Bryan Little and Mathieu Perreault.  I'm not showing a whole lot of forward depth for the hockey pool from the Jets, but there is a lot more to come from this team, as it develops into a Central Division powerhouse.

Other Pool Worthy Defense

The blueline is where the Winnipeg Jets are going to earn most of their merits in the 2018 season, as they have one of the strongest cores in the entire league.  Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba, Toby Enstrom, Dmitry Kulikov and Josh Morrissey join Tyler Myers as the strongest six and all of them are definitely considered to be pool worthy, although it could be a tough task to fit all of them into some reasonable ice-time.

Goaltending Situation

There's a new number one in town, Steve Mason, who should get the bulk of the work for the Jets, giving the best shot at points and with a defense like he has in projected to be in front of him, his numbers could be a little more impressive than the initial projections suggest.  After Mason, it is still a little bit of a log jam, as both Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson are still around and they'll do battle for that back-up job.

Team To Pick From Late?

The depth of the Jets forwards is still fairly concerning for the hockey pool, as there isn't a great deal that I can see that would get me really excited at the moment.  If another one of their young prospects emerge as a possible roster player, I would certainly make a point of giving them a bit of a boost to their projections, for the sake of earning his spot, but I don't see where that's going to happen yet.

Unsigned Players and Salary Cap

The Jets have sorted out all of their restricted free agent concerns already this summer and their current projected roster, which includes three goalies at the moment, still has $7.5 million in unused space heading into the regular season.  Even if injuries were to hit this team or they draw closer to the trade deadline, the Jets should be comfortable with their budget.


The Jets had two injury concerns at the end of the regular season, but one should believe that both would be cleared up by training camp.  Both Tyler Myers and Toby Enstrom were both inactive at the end of the year, Myers only playing in 11 games in the 2017 season with a lower-body injury, which saw surgery back in February.  Enstrom also had knee problems, which needed surgery in March, but he should be good to go at the start of camp.

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