Mid Summer Report: Winnipeg Jets

download (17)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the

Last Season’s Finish:  35-39-8, 78 pts, 7th in the Central Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Shawn Matthias (UFA)
  • F Quinton Howden (UFA)
  • D Brian Strait (UFA)
  • F Patrik Laine (Draft)

Key Departures:

  • None

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Patrik Laine
  • F Marco Dano
  • F Brandon Tanev
  • F JC Lipon

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/12)

  • D Jacob Trouba
  • F JC Lipon

Current Cap Situation as of 8/12/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $65,430,791
  • Current salary cap space: $7,569,209

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Drew Stafford, Mathieu Perreault, Shawn Matthias, Alexander Burmistrov, Chris Thorburn, Adam Lowry, Joel Armia, Patrik Laine, Andrew Copp, Marko Dano, Nikolaj Ehlers, Brandon Tanev, Anthony Peluso, Quinton Howden, JC Lipon
Defensemen
Dustin Byfuglien, Toby Enstrom, Tyler Myers, Mark Stuart, Jacob Touba, Paul Postma, Ben Chiarot, Brian Strait
Goalies
Ondrej Pavelec, Michael Hutchinson

 

Outlook:

Winnipeg finished in last place in a very tough Central Division last year.  Fans in Winnipeg didn’t care.  They are still thrilled that they have a team in Winnipeg again.  Obviously, they want their team to be better, and they will be in a few seasons.  This team is building its foundation through the draft, as Winnipeg isn’t the largest market in the league.  The Jets’ biggest addition this summer was at the draft, when they took Patrik Laine with the second overall pick, right behind Auston Matthews, who went to Toronto.  All the experts say Laine is NHL ready now, and should make the Jets roster right away.  A few are even saying Laine was the best player in this year’s draft.  Time will tell on that one, but if he is ready, and some of the younger players take another step forward in their development, Winnipeg will make things interesting in the Central Division.  But it may not be enough.  With strong teams like Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Nashville, and Minnesota in their division, making the playoffs will be a tall order.  Perhaps in a season or two they will.