Winnipeg Jets Report Card: Forwards

Winnipeg Jets grades for the forwards – 

As usual in any hockey season, any given NHL roster is going to have its surprises and it’s disappointments.  The Winnipeg Jets are no exception.  The Winnipeg Jets forward group in the first quarter of the season has had trouble scoring goals and this is no secret.  BUT in fairness to this group, they are executing a new-found defensive awareness not seen in these parts since their arrival from Atlanta.

Back to the offence.  I would be worried if the Jets forwards weren’t creating scoring chances or getting shots on goal and for the most part this group has done that.  The word “puck luck” and “snake bit” have been bandied about but the truth of the matter is that this group doesn’t have any “elite” scorers.  They have some talented players capable of scoring 20-25 and 25-30 goals in a good season but no snipers like a Steven Stamkos or Corey Perry.  Keep in mind that 25-30 goal scorers probably don’t score in 60-75% of the games they play in so if a couple of players are slumping at the same time it looks bad and if they are all “cold” at the same time it actually looks worse than it is.  When it is all said and done, these players will probably all end up somewhere around their career averages and that will be fine.

Blake Wheeler. (Photo by Shawn Coates)

                      Blake Wheeler is at the head of his class so far in 2014-15                            photo by Shawn Coates

The Winnipeg Jets top two lines have actually been pretty solid BUT the 3rd and 4th lines have been a major disappointment.  This team, now more than ever, NEEDS goals from their bottom six forwards.

Biggest surprise: Blake Wheeler – He has shown a work ethic and commitment to defence that have surprised many hockey observers.  We know he can score but I think putting that “A” on his sweater was the smartest move the Jets brain-trust has pulled off in 4 years.  He has definitely taken his game to another level.  No more fly-bys for big number 26!

At the time of this “Report Card”, the Winnipeg Jets record was 10-7-3 and I feel these grades accurately reflect their play … in my opinion.  Please feel free to add your grades or opinions on any player/players you feel I have over-rated or short-changed.  Remember, this is only my opinion and mine only and it does not reflect the opinion or opinions of the other writers here at Winnipeg Hockey Talk. Please feel free to comment below.  

I assign two grades; first (hockey grade) is just strictly what you see is what you get and the second (ROI) is weighed against salary or “bang for your buck”.

1st jets fwds

 

 

Defencemen, goaltenders and special teams tomorrow.

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