Winnipeg Jets First Quarter Grades: Defencemen, Goalies, And Special Teams

Winnipeg Jets grades for the defencemen and goaltenders – 

At this time last season, the Winnipeg Jets defensive corp was well below league average in my opinion but Kevin Cheveldayoff added a couple of solid mid-range defencemen that have vastly improved the Winnipeg Jets back end.  This season this corp is far better moving the puck in transition but the defensive system seems to still struggle even with an overall better defensive corp.  The system is flawed at times and still allows too many high-danger chances.  The goaltending is still way better than average but the special teams are an embarrassment considering the personnel this team employs.   

Paul Maurice and his coaching staff still have the team playing an aggressive pinching system in the offensive zone and they also have the defencemen trying to stand up the opposing forwards in the neutral zone.  This system is fine but if the forwards don’t support and rotate into the defencemen’s position it can lead to odd-man rushes and a complete break-down which we have seen plenty of times in the first twenty-one games.  Josh Morrissey might lead the NHL in giving up 2-on-ones.  

I really like this group but to date, nobody has really stood out.  All the defencemen have had good and bad moments but Dylan DeMelo has been by far the steadiest, although unspectacular, and is a steal at $3,000,000 per season.  I’m a little tougher on Josh Morrissey because he should be the Jet’s best blueliner and I expect more from him but overall I like this group.

Embed from Getty Images

Biggest surprise:  Brendan Dillon … he is a better skater and puck-mover than what I remembered.

Biggest disappointment:  Not having Ville Heinola up with the big club.

Grading:  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”.


At the time of this “Report Card” (after the Calgary Flames game), the Winnipeg Jets record was 10-7-4 and I feel these grades accurately reflect their play … in my opinion.  

Please feel free to add your grades or opinions in the COMMENT SECTION below on any player/players you feel I have over-rated or short-changed.  

Please feel free to comment below.  



  1. You’re a little harsh on Morrissey grading him the same as Beaulieu and Stanley. Yes he got caught giving up some 2 on 1’s but fwd support has not always been what it should either. 64 when up against opposition’s top 6 is just plain poor defensively and Beaulieu is just bad period
    Stanley on the pk is a puck watcher and constantly misses his man down low. Personally I think Morrissey has looked better this year than the last 2 years. Is he worth 6+? Probably not but neither are the others worth what they are getting with the exception of DeMelo. Sadly that is what the market dictates.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      Like I said, my expectations for Josh are higher … I’d settle for the Josh we had in the Oilers playoff series ……. As for NB he is bad but hasn’t been bad in his limited starts … the more he plays the more he sticks out as being bad ….. I like a lot of what Stanley does but he still has a long way to go … waive NB and bring Heinola up and we’re much better

      • I don’t bring Heinola up unless he is going to play. I don’t mean every 3rd game either.

        • Mitch Kasprick says

          21 games in and no injuries … go figure … I thought we’d see Gus or Ville up because of injury at least … oh well, it’s a long season.

Blog Stats

  • 182,624 hits