Nothing against Atlanta, but I’m happy Winnipeg has a hockey team and they don’t. Sorry. Though I guess if you really cared, Atlanta, you would’ve attended more hockey games. Oh well.
I’m not a fan of the Jets logo. I know it was inspired by the Air Force and I respect that. However, the image of a jet on top of a maple leaf and having them commingle to look like one big maple leaf, just doesn’t do it for me.
It looks like something a Grade 11 student did in photoshop. Sorry.
I’ve apologized way too much in this post already.
Mark Scheifele – Over the last two seasons, Scheifele has emerged as the first line centre this team desperately needed. Surrounded by players like Wheeler and Laine, he has a chance to eclipse the 82 points he put up last season. He’s only 24-years-old and has many great seasons ahead of him.
Patrik Laine – He’s 19-years-old and has 47 goals in 95 career games. He already has one of the best shots in the league and will be a 50-goal threat in the coming years. His 6’4 frame will make him hard to push around. What’s not to like?
Blake Wheeler – Wheeler has scored 26 goals in each of the last 3 seasons, but his last two seasons have been his best statistically (huge thanks to Mark Scheifele). He’s a power forward who reminds me of Todd Bertuzzi, with speed.
Nikolaj Ehlers – Ehlers isn’t a bad option to have on the second line. As a 21-year-old, he’s still developing, but all signs point to him being a guy who can score 30+ goals and 70+ points.
Notable: Bryan Little, Kyle Connor, Mathieu Perreault
Dustin Byfuglien – “Big Buff” is in his 8th season with the Jets franchise (1 with the Thrashers; 7 with the Jets). That’s hard to believe, isn’t it? I still remember him being such a huge part of the Blackhawks 2010 Cup winning team. When healthy, Byfuglien will rack up hits, blocked shots, and somewhere between 40-50 points. That being said, despite a good start to the season, I don’t think the Jets are contending for a Cup this season or next. Perhaps they should move Byfuglien for assets while they still can?
Jacob Trouba – Young, solid defenceman. Maybe I’m just misinformed, but he feels like a guy who should be getting around 40 points in a season. He’s only been above 30, once.
Tyler Myers – He was the Rookie of the Year in 2010 for the Buffalo Sabres and everyone thought he was the next Zdeno Chara. And then his career went downhill. I don’t know what happened to the offensive side of his game, but he’s 6’8, and you can’t teach size. So, there’s that.
Notable: Josh Morrissey, Tobias Enstrom
Connor Hellebuyck – He showed flashes in the previous two seasons that he could be the goaltender of the future. This season, he’s taken the ball and run with it. The 24-year-old is off to a 12-2-2 start and the net appears to be his.
Steve Mason – He was the Rookie of the Year the season before Myers was. And like Myers, his career went downhill afterwards. I smell a trophy jinx. Maybe he just needs to be on the right team. He was on Columbus when Columbus wasn’t a nice place for goalies. Then he was on Philadelphia, another brutal place for goalies. And now Winnipeg…same thing. The signing in the off-season felt weird to me, but best of luck to him.
Notable: Michael Hutchinson
1. The Jets have made the playoffs only once, since returning to Winnipeg in 2011. They were swept in the first round (2015) by Anaheim.
2. Their team mascot is named Mick E. Moose. Stop it. I’m not a fan of puns when it comes to something professional. Now, every time you see their mascot/hear that name, your mind is instantly going to be taken to “Mickie Mouse”. That is poor top-of-mind awareness.
3. The team is owned by True North Sports & Entertainment. During the Canadian national anthem, when the words “True North” are sung, the crowd screams it extra loudly.
4. The Arizona Coyotes own the history of the Winnipeg Jets 1.0. This version of the Winnipeg Jets do not. To me, that is not right. But hey, if Seattle ever gets an NBA franchise again, the same thing will happen to them. Oklahoma City owns their history. The new team won’t have a history.
5. There is a place called Bella Pasta at MTS Centre. I don’t even need to look up the menu to know I’d be lining up there. Pasta at a hockey game? What a thing!
WHAT CHRIS THINKS
The Winnipeg Jets are sneaky good. They have two of the best young players in Laine and Scheifele, and one of the most underrrated players in the game in Wheeler. No clue why they signed Mason in net though, he has been brutal and Hellebuyck is money in the bank. Good way to waste $4 million for a team that’s on the cusp of serious contention.
LAST MINUTE OF PLAY
The Winnipeg Jets need to start making playoff appearances or their Coach and GM aren’t going to be their Coach and GM anymore.
I love the trio of Scheifele, Laine, and Ehlers. They’re all under the age of 25 and will scare teams for years to come.
I think Wheeler and Byfuglien are going to be on the wrong side of their respective careers by the time this team is making a serious run for the Stanley Cup.
They need more mobile defensemen. They need Hellebuyck to be “The Guy”. And they need playoff experience to help take them to the next level.
They’re off to a 14-6-3 start, so of course they’re going to make the playoffs…
ONE WILD PREDICTION
The Winnipeg Jets will make a big trade this season. I don’t know what “big” means, but you’ll know it when you see it.
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