Jets Young Stars Game One: Pure skill

Kevin McCartney
September 13 2014 02:39PM

YoungStars_Jets_FlamesPP2

Jets double pin below goal line on PK.

The Nations Network sent this Jets Nation writer to the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, BC. I'm judging your team and bringing you the view from the Press Box.

The Jets opened the Young Stars Tournament against the Flames in a thrilling, high-tempo game with a lot more offensive skill than defensive interest. The Jets struggled badly to manage the Flames' cycle, but in transition, opened the floodgates on Calgary's blueline to create a lot of chances. 

Inside we'll begin where we left off last year - systems stuff at the top and then a review of every player to follow. I missed the first period of this game and haven't watched it streaming yet, so anything I missed goes in the comments, please! You can see the game on YouTube here.

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Young Stars Tournament: Jets Preview

Kevin McCartney
September 12 2014 06:00AM

#469646079 / gettyimages.com

The Nations Network is sending this Jets blogger to the 2014 Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, BC. I'll be judging your team and bringing you live scouting reports. Check out last year's wrap-up piece here.

The Young Stars Tournament is here again! I'll be there all weekend to scout, blog, and dry out my insides with Okanagan Events Centre popcorn. You can follow me on twitter (@kevinmccart) for live insights, or check out the Nations Network of blogs for game and player reviews. 

Inside we'll reflect a bit on last year's tournament and take a look at the Jets' Young Stars roster. Have a player, story or system you're excited about? Let me know in the comments!

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Jets Organizational Sketch: Blue Chips and Top Prospects

Kevin McCartney
August 29 2014 01:45PM

#484073637 / gettyimages.com

Arriving from Atlanta, the Jets 2.0 had limited prospect depth and not enough NHL-quality players to fill out a lineup card. The major questions facing the franchise followed from those deficiencies - where can we find more NHL-quality players, and how can we make that pipeline sustainable? For GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, the answer to both is the draft.

Last year we took a look at the Jets' organizational depth chart, sussing out the top prospects likely to make an NHL impact from the long shots and the falling suspects. Having graduated Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba from last year's crop of Blue Chip prospects while in the same year finishing last in the Central Division in both Wins and Points, there's a fair argument that the 'Cheveldayoff Method' is faulty. But with just three years on the job and the rookies making an impact, patience is still required. 

Inside we'll examine who the next generation of Jets might be with an eye to both the future and the present roster. We start with the team's Top Prospects. 

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Player Preview: Michael Frolik

Kevin McCartney
August 22 2014 10:48AM

Frolik

Michael Frolik joined the organization as a defensive specialist with underwhelming hockey-card stats. Through 136 games in Chicago, Frolik managed just 34 points, deployed in his final season for fewer than 13 minutes a night with Bryan Bickell and Michael Handzus. Like so many players who managed to score in Florida (cough cough Jokinen), it seemed his offence didn't translate on a more competitive squad. Instead, his resume highlighted his defensive work as a key part of the league's 3rd best PK, and his playoff record, scoring 18 points in 34 career playoff games and winning a Stanley.  

What happened in Winnipeg was a wonderful surprise. Frolik emerged as the life preserver for first young Scheifele and then the erratic Jokinen before moving to the top line to play power-vs-power with Ladd and Little. Versatility is his primary strength on a roster with so many holes, and it's likely Frolik plays a major role in this season. 

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Player Preview: Dustin Byfuglien

Kevin McCartney
August 20 2014 06:00AM

Buf pins ovie

It is a deeply enjoyable coincidence that I am assigned this player preview. I might be Byfuglien's biggest fan when he plays defence, and was a staunch defender during the 'Mystery Turnovers' days. At the same time, his transition play as a forward is slow and haphazard and his defensive work from the forward position was hard to watch last season. He's a star player and difference maker for this club, and the question on everyone's mind is whether he'll be in a position to succeed.

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