Winnipeg Jets 2014-15 Opening Night Roster?

Winnipeg Jets Potential and Probable Opening Night Roster –

Updated:  Aug. 2, 2014

There has been a lot of discussion as to who could, who might, who should, and who you’d like to see make the Winnipeg Jets opening night roster (23 players). When I look at who the Jets have under contract with the big club and in the AHL, I am going to base my opening roster on a mix of what could realistically happen along with what I hope will happen. 

Goal: 

Even though I would love to see a Hutchinson/Hellebuyck tandem in goal, I think we’ll have to wait a year or two for that so I will concede to a Pavelec/Hutchinson combo.  I hope Ondrej Pavelec can be the goaltender the Jets want him to be but based on his downward trending numbers I don’t have a lot of hope.  It would be nice to see Michael Hutchinson pick up where he left off at the end of last season and push Pavelec for starts and maybe even a platoon situation.  Although I’m quite high on Hutchinson, I’m going to temper my enthusiasm because there is a big difference between mopping up a few games at the end last year and now competing for a starting job.  I hope he becomes a viable option as the season progresses.  Everybody loves the back-up quarterback in football and the back-up goalie in hockey but I’m going to temper my optimism with the reality that as of right now Michael Hutchinson hasn’t technically even won the back-up job.  

Defense: 

I would love to see Josh Morrissey and Jacob Trouba paired together and it will happen but probably not this season.  The Jets recently re-signed Keaton Ellerby so now they are really overloaded with bottom pairing defensemen so Josh is probably destined for one more year in the WHL and a major role with Team Canada at the WJHC.  BUT, Morrissey does control his own fate and could force the Winnipeg Jets into keeping him.  Like I’ve said many times on these pages ~ all things being equal, the players will determine their own address.

Forwards:

For me, the forwards do actually present some options on the Jets roster in-spite of the lack of available roster space on the depth chart.  It’s up to Eric O’Dell, Carl Klingberg, Adam Lowry, and J.C. Lipon to force some of the veterans out of the line-up.  If Paul Maurice runs a fair and equitable training camp, veterans like Eric Tangradi, Jim Slater, Anthony Peluso and Chris Thorburn shouldn’t get too comfortable even though they are on one-way NHL contracts.  PoMo, pick your team and let Chevy deal with the mess.  I do believe there is one wild card in Scott Kosmachuk.  Kosmachuk looks like the most “NHL ready” prospect that played in junior last season.  If Kosmachuk shows well in camp and the pre-season, I think it would be a great idea get him in the line-up along with IceCaps forward J.C. Lipon.  This could free up Michael Frolik*, the Jets “Swiss Army Knife”, to play up and down the roster as needed.

Probable Jets depth chart

 

In my chart named “Possible but improbable”, you could keep Kane/Scheifele/Wheeler along with Ladd/Little/Frolik leaving the top two lines intact.  That leaves multiple options for the bottom six.  In reality, there is no way you will see four players from St. John’s crack the bottom six forwards but that isn’t because they don’t deserve a chance.  I see no downside in doing this.  This team is probably not going to make the playoffs and grooming players like Lipon, Lowry and Kosmachuk seems like a good idea to me.  For me, this part of the roster should be wide open as the Jets fourth line was probably the worst fourth line in the NHL in 2013-14.  But like I always say, it’s easy being an armchair G.M.

                                                                                                                                                                                                       Possible but improbable

Mitchs depth chart2

Michael Frolik* was signed after this article was 90% written but I will continue on with the notion he will be a Winnipeg Jet this season and in the future.  I still have hope and believe a deal will be worked out in 2015 that will see Michael Frolik in a Jets uniform for four to five years. 

I would like to invite the other writers at Winnipeg Hockey Talk OR any of our readers that would like to do a  “Guest Post”  to post their “Probable” roster and their “Possible but improbable” roster.  It would be fun to see who Winnipeg Jets fans think will be on their 2014-15 team.

UPDATE: Aug. 2, 2014

Three days after this article was published the Winnipeg Jets signed forward T. J. Galiardi to a one year, two-way contract.  In my opinion Galiardi would be a definite candidate for the Jets fourth line.

Or you can post your roster in the comment section.

*

Comments

  1. Pretty close to my roster picks also Mitch. Good job

  2. I’m more inclined to follow something along the lines of the possible but improbable. Not because I’m ready to concede that they won’t make the playoffs but because they are competitive and close, just needing some offensive explosiveness to get them over the top.

    I’d like to see something like this.

    Up front:

    Kane-Perreault-Wheeler
    Ehlers-Scheifele-Byfuglien
    Ladd-Little-Frolik
    O’Dell-Slater-Klingberg

    In this scenario Thorburn is your platoon man, subbing in for dinged-up players or for more weight against bigger, tougher teams.

    On D (less sure about this because I’m not as sold on Morrissey as most)

    Enstrom-Bogosian
    Morrissey-Trouba
    Stuart-Postma

    PS. I am not concerned by what seems like an overabundance of 3rd pairing defensemen and 4th line forwards. In my view, these are just insurance policy in case the young ones aren’t ready. The Jets have cap space, they don’t cost much, and there is always a trade market for these filler players that will fetch you a sixth round pick.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I agree Claude … I just hope training camp is fair and competitive. The new blood will earn their spots eventually.

      • Interesting to hear Lawless echoing our thoughts on H&L right now, ie: that he would rather see the likes of Lowry, Petan, Ehlers, etc…than guys like Tangradi.

        I would be terribly upset with Chevy and Pomo if that was not the case. I can understand the inactivity over the summer. Winnipeg is not a FA destination. And Chevy is probably being offered buckets of hockey pucks for his best players. But if he is preaching “draft and develop” he has to follow through.

        • Mitch Kasprick says

          It’s always a little easier to fast track a prospect if they have size. But guys like Morrissey, Petan, Ehlers will have to be watched carefully. I think Josh has a 50/50 chance this camp and Kosmachuk could surprise.

  3. The first 2 lines are set IMO.

    Im SHOCKED at how many scheifele haters there are. He was in the conversation as rookie of the year before he got injured and was getting better with each game. Even in the iihf he started on the bottom and was basically the MVP of team Canada by the end. I have so much faith that I believe Kane scheifele wheeler are already our first line and I’m anticipating 60-90 points from all three of those guys.

    Pavelec inherited a starting position. He never earned it and he doesn’t deserve it. I fully expect hutch to be the guy before December.

    As for our bottom six slater is ok but I worry about his health issues. Thorburn and tangradi should never play an NHL game again. Proven ahl caliber guys. My bottom 6 are

    O’dell Perrault buf
    Galiardi slater(Lowry) peluso.

    Peluso is way underrated I think. I’ve seen him have good hands. Do a good job in front of the net and make some sweet passes when he played with jokinen. He fights better than thorburn and oh yea, he has the hardest slap shot on the team! Put him on the point on the pp and dump buf. He’s dead weight going forward. Maybe we can get a fair goalie to split time with hutch while our system goalies grow.

    On to defence.
    First and foremost. I’m absolutely insulted the let go of Redmond. Redmond is better than Enstrom if you ask me. Bigger, stronger and is a talented quarterback. Led the icecaps in their cup run. He was a magician. Shame on jets.

    Clitsome…. Garbage… Bogo disappeared last year. He better step up. Ellerby is garbage but Pardy is amazing. I think our defence has more upside than our forwards. I think the jets have managed them poorly and having buf and pavs have made up look worse defensively than we are. My d pairings are as follows.

    Enstrom bogo
    Trouba morrissey
    Pardy Stuart
    Postma ellerby

    Also to be noted.
    When injuries occur players being called up slot into the positions they actually play. If Kane gets injured you don’t move effing thorburn to second line and call up a first line RW to pick fights and throw the body.

    We call up someone in our system who fills that roll on his team to replace ours. That’s how you groom future players!

    Sorry for the essay! Thanks for reading

  4. Mitch Kasprick says

    I’m really excited to see how Paul Maurice conducts his 1st Jets training camp. I’m hoping Mark Scheifele keeps trending upward and becomes a point per game player. He is a gifted play-maker and has a good scoring touch as well.

    BTW , I enjoyed the essay …. comment anytime.

  5. I think Enstrom and buf need to go.
    I like both players but but don’t fit in with what the jets want to be. The jets want to be fast strong and hard working. Ehlers is smaller but apparently his speed leaves Kane in the dust.
    I’d expect to see buf moved and ehlers take that third line spot next year. Between buf and Enstrom we could easily bring in some top talent.

    I think Maurice’s toughest challenge will be managing the room. I don’t think Ladd is the right captain for the team. I don’t think he controls the room. I expect wheeler to take the c and scheifele eventually. Dealing with the egos and personalities of Kane and buf and so forth I think will be his hardest challenge.

  6. Mitch Kasprick says

    Trades are tough today with all the “no movement clauses”

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