Jets 2015 Trade Deadline: Shopping List Forwards

The Winnipeg Jets have already made quite a few moves. Drew Stafford and Tyler Myers were brought in as part of the package deal in return for Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian. The Jets also purchased Jiri Tlusty as a rental from the Carolina Hurricanes for a third and a conditional fifth or sixth round pick.

This does not mean Kevin Cheveldayoff’s job is done. As teams try to shuffle their roster and cap to fit new pieces, the Jets may be able to pry a few lower depth pieces in upgrading their own.

Let’s take a look at a few forwards who should be on the Jets 2015 trade deadline shopping list.

What we got

If and once the Jets become healthy, the team’s top nine forwards setup will look something like the following (currently injured in italics):

Andrew Ladd – Bryan Little – Blake Wheeler

Matthieu Perreault – Mark Scheifele – Drew Stafford

Jiri Tlusty – Adam Lowry – Michael Frolik

This leaves Matt Halischuk, T.J. Galiardi, Chris Thorburn, Jim Slater, and Anthony Peluso to construct the Jets fourth line or sit in the pressbox. There is also the possibility of Eric O`Dell earning a roster spot with his recent call up.

The Jets will not likely look for another Stafford or Tlusty. Instead, Chevy probably covets a fourth line type player who can adequately fill in the third line in a pinch. That player being a centre would be nice, but not necessary.

Here are six forwards who may possibly be undervalued and had for cheap, with some 2013-15 HERO charts courtesy of Own the Puck.

Kyle Chipchura

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(Courtesy: Own The Puck)

The Arizona Coyotes look to be selling. While most eyes are focused on the much overrated Antoine Vermette, a highly effective depth forward flies under the radar in the desert. Kyle Chipchura is 29 and a NHL veteran of nearly 400 games. He has been a decent shot-metrics player while being deployed predominately in the defensive zone. His assist production is likely inflated due to a high IAP (on-ice goals he has assisted on) this season, but a low personal shooting percentage likely washes out the overall impact in point scoring. Chipchura also comes with the added benefit of an additional season available for near league minimum.

Erik Condra

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(Courtesy: Own The Puck)

Concerns about size are valid as size may hold a player back being effective. But when a player is effective despite being small, they are often undervalued due to the perceived flaw being overly scrutinized. This is true with Erik Condra. Condra doesn’t put the puck in the net much more than the Jets better depth forwards. He does push the play though exceptionally better. Teams with players like Condra on their bottom can play their depth forwards for real, non-sheltered minutes without fear of being overly out matched. Condra would be a rental as he is an unrestricted free agent this summer.

James Sheppard

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(Courtesy: Own The Puck)

James Sheppard is likely one of the more expensive options on the shopping list, but he’s on here as I’ve always been a bit of a fan. Sheppard has been one of the most effective shutdown bottom-six players for quite some while. He regularly takes matchups when the Sharks do not have the luxury of playing power-versus-power. Sheppard may not score much but he’s an effective two-way player with size. He can play centre although tends to be more effective on the wing. A good comparison would be a less physical and older Adam Lowry. The 26 year-old is a UFA this summer.

Tyler Kennedy

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(Courtesy: Own The Puck)

Hailing from the same team as Sheppard, Tyler Kennedy is another effective bottom six player, albeit very different. Players at times will be undervalued due to perceived flaws. The flaws may be real in part, but are usually overstated. Kennedy’s flaw is that he’s quite the puck hog, as can be seen with his huge shots/60. Kennedy tends to create for himself, although he’s not a bad passer either. Kennedy suffered from a low personal and linemate shooting percentage the last two seasons, but his offensive numbers have bounced back to a pace more typical of the forward. Kennedy, like Sheppard, would be an UFA rental.

Matt Calvert

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(Courtesy: Own The Puck)

Matt Calvert is a popular option amongst Jets fans, as a local boy. While locality means very little for on-ice performance, it can be beneficial in a marketing sense. Unlike the other options, Calvert contains the additional bonus of being a RFA. His higher TOI/GP and RFA status may make him a tad more expensive, but there has been rumours of the young forward being movable. Calvert is a jack of all trades, master of none type forward. On average his performance has been just below that of a fringe second line player and could be a more long term option.

Mark Letestu

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(Courtesy: Own The Puck)

If the price is too high for Calvert, there is always the possibility for Calvert-lite from the same team. Mark Letestu is another forward who is likely undervalued due to his size, but still a bonafide NHL player. His two-way numbers are the weakest on the shopping list, but still beats most of the Jets current options. He does score at an impressive rate for a bottom-six forward. Remember, size only matters in determining whether a player can be effective or not; if a player is effective despite this handicap, then then are effective overall. Letestu is also an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Compared to what?

Numbers and results are only as meaningful as the context provided for them. To help give context to these players, here are the HERO charts for Matt Halischuk (left) and Chris Thorburn (right):

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(Courtesy: Own The Puck)

Now prepare to be amazed over the HERO chart for Jim Slater:

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More Jets 2015 Trade Deadline: