Winnipeg Jets: Decisions … Decisions …

Winnipeg Jets: Decisions, Decisions … Waiver subtractions?  Young Blood Additions? –

By Derek Curtis

Most would say too much depth is a good problem to have.  We are seeing with the Winnipeg Jets, that may not be the case.

Somewhat of a unique circumstance having a wide range of player types trying out for only a couple of positions.

Up Front:

Pretty safe to say given contracts and performance, top six is locked.  Perrault will be 3rd line center.  Good chance Slater is our fourth line center. Frolik/Buff swapping 2nd/3rd line winger roles, and likely

Thorburn with his new deal, fourth line wing.

We are not going to go there …

Leaving two wings to decide upon.  Galiardi, Halischuk, Petan, Ehlers, Peluso, Comier, and last but not least Lowry all competing for a job with the big club.

Nic Petan:

Nic was an absolute gem to get as a 2nd round pick.  His hockey IQ is excellent, great hands and he can skate!  Knock him for his size but he handles himself well out there and his skill more than makes up for it.

I’m excited to see Nic on this team but I doubt he will make it this year.  Despite his obvious upside, I’m betting Chevy and Paul will have no problem sending him back to junior and letting him marinate for another year.

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Nic Petan

Nik Ehlers:

This years 1st rounder Ehlers is exciting to watch!  He has lightning speed and is as shifty as they come.  Size is a bit of an issue yet but he will fill out more in time.

Same as Petan, I think Chevy is going to send him back east and let him season a little more.  I see no harm in sending Ehlers back for another season in the Q.

T.J. Galiardi:

Had some tough luck early taking a high stick and got sidelined for a time.  He’s fast, has a bit of a scoring touch and he brought some physical play from what we saw early.

The injury may be enough to lose him this opportunity, tough luck.  I like what he brings but I don’t like his chances.  With injury and the politics involved here, I see Galiardi on the waiver wire sooner than later.  If he clears great!  He would be a valuable asset to fill in when we need a call up.  If not, I think we’ll be fine without his services.

Patrice Cormier:

Fun to watch, he can bang with the best of em, has a nasty streak, and holds his own in the face off circle.  We have had a pretty good look at Patrice over the years but he just hasn’t been able to make that jump and stick the landing for the Jets.

A great option for a call up when you need a big body to take some draws and chew up a few minutes but I don’t see him sticking around again this year.  His injury isn’t helping his case either with the season right around the corner.  Likely, he will be sent down again.

Anthony Peluso:

Anthony is a big man, and I’m a big fan.  Who doesn’t want to hear PST booming down from the fans in the phone booth?  I’m a sucker for a guy who will go out there and crash and bang.  He has shown flashes of skill in the past.  We all know he can chuck knuckles with the best of em, though I feel its not necessary half the time.

He has struggled at times but is good down low, always physical and with more confidence he could be a good fourth line guy.  My opinion is his future lies solely in the hands of Maurice.

Matt Halischuk:

Matt’s future was looking weary throughout most of the off-season but I believed with his hard work and professionalism last season kept him in Chevy’s mind as an option.

Matt has played pretty well for the pre-season and is not going to make this decision easy for anyone.  He’s fast, willing to grind and has shown he can pop a few pucks in the net.

It would be nice to have Matt to be able to move up and down from the Ice Caps to the Jets.  He can fill a spot on 3rd or 4th line.  After his pre-season, will he clear waivers?  Again, I think it will come down to Maurice on this one.  He may have very well worked his way on to this roster.

Adam Lowry:

He’s been a hoot to watch!  He gets into those dirty areas and he has the beef to exert himself in the big league.  A huge plus in the West.  Struggled a bit with scoring touch in pre-season but he is adjusting and I expect will improve with experience.

Just based on his age and potential, he is my choices for the 3rd line winger spot.

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Adam Lowry

On the back end:

We have Enstrom/Bogosian, Trouba/Stuart paired in the top four.  Leaving the bottom pair?

Again is contract going to play a part?  One has to think Clitsome is a lock if so. Leaving one position with Ellerby, Pardy, Postma, Chiarot, and Morrissey to make a case for themselves.

Keaton Ellerby:

Ellerby, one of a few waiver claims, not flashy, but skates pretty well.  All things considered, he filled in well when called upon.  Ellerby can be sloppy at times with the puck and gets himself in trouble when he holds on to long.

I don’t see Ellerby making the cut.  I think we may get lucky with him and he clears waivers, and could be useful to fill in for injuries.

Adam Pardy:

“Pardy Time” as my brother-in-law Mark and I like to call him, fit in really well on that bottom pair for us last season.  Started off slower last years but improved as the season continued.  He is effective when he’s on his game in that bottom role.  Shows some nifty dangles at times and brings veteran experience.

Pardy is an interesting case.  His saving grace may be the injuries, his performance last season and if Chevy is sending Morrissey back to the WHL.

Paul Postma:

We have seen Paul in the past, we know he can skate, can jump up in the rush and get back, nice shot.  Not as physical as most but big enough to handle the west.

Problem is he’s injured right now.  I think we kind of put our chips on Postma by letting Redmond go.  Hard to see what we have here until he’s healthy again.  Can we risk losing him on the wire?

Postma gone on the wire would be a tough pill to swallow.

Ben Chiarot:

Ben has the size to handle himself in this league.  He skates well and isn’t afraid to use that size when needed.  We have seen Ben sprinkled into the line up a few times.  He has been in the system for a few years now, quietly developing.  Is this the year that he breaks the line up?  He received a one year two-way deal over the summer.  We haven’t seen much of him this pre-season but I have liked what I’ve seen.  He isn’t flashy but he plays a pretty solid shut down game.

Do we want to see him fail to clear waivers?  Do we keep him up and rotate him in until we are completely sure which way we want to proceed?  Does Maurice feel he’s ready?  I would hate to lose him for nothing on the wire.

Josh Morrissey:

Josh makes it look easy.  Glides with little effort, has a great eye for the net, makes clean passes and has good IQ.  His size is concerning for some still. Josh will likely be a top four guy for us in the future.

Is he ready?  Do we need another smallish D-man on the back in the big west?

Part of the problem is he must go back to the WHL if he doesn’t make the cut.  I’m sure they would like him to go back to the AHL but it’s just not an option.  Does Chevy hold off for another year with him?

Does Maurice think he can use and develop this kid right now?

Twelve guys for three spots!  Coach has his work cut out for him with the season start around the corner.  Or does he?  Chevy very well may have made his decisions already.

Many fans cry for an injection of young blood into the line up.  Likely we will carry a few guys to swap in and out as needed.

I see Halischuk, Peluso, and Lowry between the two wing slots.

Pardy, Chiarot, and Postma will likely continue to work for that last defensive slot into the season.

With all the competition for these spots, unfortunately, we are sure to lose one or two guys on waivers.

That being said, I have a sneaking suspicion that Chevy will protect these young guns for one more season and minimizing losses on the wire.

Expect to have a completely new look next season with the young guns who have been chomping at the bit.  They will have that much more experience under their belts.  For now, we creep cautiously forward.

 

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