Kyle Wellwood’s Worth

Moving into this offseason, a lot has been made of the high number of free agents the Jets have to deal with. In total, the Jets currently have 18 restricted and unrestricted free agents that they must make decisions on, including players such as Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, Alex Burmistrov, Zach Bogosian and Ron Hainsey. One name that has seemed to slip the minds of many fans is Kyle Wellwood. What should the Jets do with Wellwood?

After a highly productive 2011-2012 season with the then newly minted Winnipeg Jets that saw Wellwood post career highs in goals (18) and points (47) the Jets signed him to a 1-year, $1.6 million contract (the highest single season pay of his career) for 2012-13. This year Wellwood’s production did drop and he did find himself in the press box on occasion, but not bringing him back next year (at a slightly reduced rate) would be a huge mistake.

Following is a quick chart highlighting some of Welllwood’s stats over his two seasons with the Jets, including his Corsi, the Jets Corsi with him off the ice, the quality of his competition, and his offensive zone starts & finishes. You’ll notice that in both years the Jets controlled play more often with Wellwood on the ice then off of it, despite his drop off in points this year.

Kyle Wellwood

Corsi On

Corsi Off

Corsi Rel QoC

Off Zone Start

Off Zone Finish













You might also notice that his offensive zone starts dropped dramatically this year (12.5%), and he played against slightly higher competition. This was likely due to the questionable but constant implementation of Olli Jokinen on the second line. This forced Welly to either compete with Burmistrov for third line center minutes, or move over to the right wing which limited his playmaking opportunities. (Note the drop in point production this year)

Personal production aside, the affect Wellwood had on his line mates is reason enough for Chevy to want him back. This next chart displays the the “goal for” percentage (that is, Goals scored by team / [Goals scored by team + goals scored against]) and the “corsi for” percentage (Corsi for percentage = Corsi for / [Corsi for + Corsi against]) with and without Kyle Wellwood for the five wingers that spent the most time on the ice with him. You’ll see that with 4 of the 5 players listed, goals for percentage increased while on the ice with Welly. Thus, not only were they scoring at a higher rate while playing with him, but they were also keeping the puck out of their own net. You will also see that 3 of the 5 listed saw increases in the time they spent controlling the play while they were on the ice with him.













GF% w/ Wellwood






GF% w/o Wellwood












Corsi For % w/ Wellwood






Corsi For % w/o Wellwood






Interestingly enough three of these players (Antro, Olli and Burmi) predominately play center, meaning that Wellwood was moved to the right wing. The jump in Kane’s GF% is simply astonishing, and the player who may be considered one of the biggest disappointments in a Jets uniform, Olli Jokinen, saw his play improve dramatically when he was on the ice with Kyle Wellwood. Strangely enough, the only player who saw both his GF% and Corsi For % drop with Wellwood, was also the player who spent the most time with him – Nik Antropov. Chalk that one up to some interesting coaching decisions.

Next year, assuming the Jets bring back Bryan Little and Alex Burmistrov, the Jets are looking at the center position likely being composed of Little, Jokinen, Scheifele and Burmistrov. That’s before you factor in players such as James Wright or Aaron Gagnon, or any other free agents that Chevy may look to acquire. Despite this, I still believe that the Jets need to keep Wellwood in the ranks. Offer him ~$1 mil/year, and work from there. Assuming Jokinen is an immovable piece this offseason, I would say start with a second line of Kane – Jokinen – Wellwood, and be ready to move players as needed.

This offseason will be a busy one for the Jets, but one thing is clear to me. They need Kyle Wellwood in a Jets uniform and letting him walk is completely unacceptable.



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