August 29 2014 01:45PM
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.
August 22 2014 10:48AM
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.
August 20 2014 06:00AM
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.
August 15 2014 05:58PM
During the season, we checked in a few times on the Jets' prospects around the world. The last time was in December. I've never been accused of being a timely writer, but it's still worth checking in on how the season finished for last year's prospects and how the organization might currently see them. We'll update our prospect list before September and set some reasonable expectations for their respective seasons.
For now, let's look back at 2013/14 and think about the good and bad arrows for the would-be Jets.
August 11 2014 04:09PM
We recently took a look at the Jets' depth chart, only to have the team add some bodies. Player previews will continue throughout the month, but the biggest question is always ice time and linemates. Inside we'll look at a likely lineup for opening night and look back to years past for comparison.