We hear it every year – the key to success is having internal competition for roster spots. That speaks to depth, to NHL-readiness, to a culture of evidence-based evaluation and accountability. Unfortunately, on the Jets, the fix is in.
The Jets sent down another five skaters today, and it was the people you would expect.
- Adam Lowry
- Andrew Gordon
- Josh Morrissey
- Eric O’Dell
- Ivan Telegin
Just yesterday, your second favourite Jets cynic (me, assuming Ryan Blight is your favourite) wrote that Gordon was next on the chopping block given his assignment between Cormier and Thorburn. He did have over 9 minutes of pre-season action after missing much of camp with an injury, and if that’s not enough to make an impression with sub-replacement level linemates, then waivers it is.
Adam Lowry was also in his first pre-season action, and recorded 7 hits in just 13 minutes of ice time. He did have 1:42 on the PP, which is a lot until you consider that James Wright had 4 minutes. Every visual account of Lowry confirms what Jets Nation already knew – the kid is a powerful skater with hands, massive size, and an active hockey brain. He thinks the game well, and can be a force at both ends of the rink. He’s young, and many big-bodied players take a little more time to grow into their bodies. AHL time will be good for Lowry. At the same time, the roster decisions seem so pre-meditated and divorced of any meaningful evaluation that I could almost be convinced he was sent away now to avoid making a competition the team didn’t want to consider. Neither Schiefele nor Jokinen have been what we hoped so far in pre-season, and in turn, the team has sent out their competition in Petan, O’Dell, and Lowry before they had to.
Josh Morrissey is an interesting case, as the coach was telling us just the other day that Josh Morrissey was earning every day and deserved to be in camp. Even without another pre-season game, that apparently changed. It leaves 9 defencemen in camp – the same 9 we expected before camp started. Enstrom, Byfuglien, Bogosian, Clitsome, Stuart, Pardy, Redmond, Postma, and Trouba remain with two pre-season games remaining. My guess in the summer was that Redmond would be the odd-man out, and certainly that’s how it looks by ice time alloted so far.
Eric O’Dell has seen a lot of pre-season action, mostly with other AHL players, and mostly with an uphill battle. I said after game one that his skating is what sets him apart as an AHL player and I stand by that after multiple viewings. He’s a very smart player, and responsible in both ends. But he’s behind the play once the puck is turned over and has a lot of work to do after a few seasons of injuries. He’s a possible early call-up for the Jets, but is at risk of being lost in the prospect shuffle should he not get any NHL games this season.
It’s hard to summon any rage at all over Ivan Telegin. It’s great that he’s healthy again, and his speed is everything it was proimsed to be. He’ll re-start his pro career on the farm this season and Jets Nation wishes him well.