Winnipeg Jets Organizational Depth Chart

There are a lot of fantastic cap management –like NHL Numbers– and prospect depth –like Hockey’s Future– websites out there.

Unfortunately there is no where that really combines both of these in one easy location, so I tend to keep one for myself.

Here is an updated look of the Winnipeg Jets’ organizational depth, prior to entering the “frenzy” of 2015’s free agency.

Two notes prior to our start: all players are listed in the position they primarily played last season and are ordered in descending AAV where ever possible.

Forwards

NHL

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With only nine players who played in the NHL last season signed to contracts, there are some legitimate holes to fill in the Jets’ NHL level. How many of these holes will be filled by youth versus free agents remains to be seen, although Andrew Copp, Joel Armia, Nic Petan, and Nikolaj Ehlers are all nearing NHL ready.

There is some flexibility on the team, with some players having NHL experience in multiple positions. Mathieu Perreault can play centre. Bryan Little can play right wing while Adam Lowry can play right wing. Both Drew Stafford and Chris Thorburn have played on their opposite wing.

AHL or ECHL

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There is a good chance that the Manitoba Moose roll out a very, very young core of forwards. It should be exciting for the Jets’ fans to watch some potential future NHL talent in the same arena.

While Chase De Leo played most of the season as a centre, he has a lot of experience on the left wing and many project him as a winger in the long term. JC Lipon also spent a good amount of time on the left wing, often opposite to Scott Kosmachuk.

Europe

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With Ivan Telegin and Alexander Burmistrov currently unsigned, Pavel Kraskovsky sits as the Jets only forward prospect in Europe (although Michael Spacek still has a contract in Europe). Kraskovsky has played most of his career as a centre, although has played right wing in the KHL and in international tournaments.

Junior or NCAA

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The Jets experienced a large exodus of junior and NCAA prospects going pro, and have replaced a large portion of them with the 2015 draft.

Kyle Connor, Jack Roslovic, and Michael Spacek have experience as centres, but have spent a good portion of last year on the wing. There is a good chance that Roslovic moves back to centre though when he plays for Miami this year.

Spacek played in Europe last year, but Kevin Cheveldayoff said that they would be looking at playing him in the CHL if possible this year. Spacek’s CHL rights went to the Red Deer Rebels in the 2015 CHL Entry Draft.

Received Qualifying Offer

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Usually sending out qualifying offers, you can assume the player will be signed in the future, but not so here.

John Albert will likely be extended and join the Manitoba Moose. The Jets two Russian prospects may differ. Telegin is likely only a formality to hold onto his NHL rights and he will likely sign in the KHL. Burmistrov’s QO actually went out last year, and currently is negotiating a contract with the Jets for a NHL return, although there is the possibility of a sign-and-trade.

Defenders

NHL

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The Jets have a right side with Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba, and Tyler Myers is probably coveted by a good number of NHL teams. When Tyler Myers is the weak link, you are doing pretty okay. Their left side, isn’t as great. I personally believe that Tobias Enstrom, Grant Clitsome, and Ben Chiarot is at least NHL average depth, but could be improved.

Clitsome has played on both sides, although his history of back injuries raises a few concerns.

If the Jets sign Paul Postma, who they sent a qualifying offer to, the Jets will have nine NHL defenders signed for next season. Something may have to give.

AHL or ECHL

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While the Moose are experiencing a huge influx of youth at forward, there are only two moving in from defense. There is also the possibility that Joshua Morrissey makes the NHL team, although it will be difficult with that many left-side NHL contracts ahead of him.

Europe

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Sami Niku and Marcus Karlstrom are the Jets’ loan defensive Europeans.

Niku spent most of the season playing on the right side in the Fins 2nd tier league, although as a left shot he projects more on the left side in North America. There is a good chance that he plays mostly in the Liiga, the Fins 1st tier league, and will mostly play on the left side there.

Marcus Karlstrom is a right shot that plays on the right side. He was moved around a lot last year between Junior and both 2nd and 3rd tier Swedish pro-leagues. It remains to be seen where he will end up next year.

Junior or NCAA

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The Jets have nothing below pro-level on the left side for prospects, which is why there are many who hold a concern for this area. Overall though the organization has similar depth on both sides, although the quality is much higher on the right side.

On the right side, the Jets have two NCAA players who spent a good portion sitting in the pressbox or playing forward last year due to their team’s large depth. Both Jack Glover and Tucker Poolman played for teams with seven NHL drafted defenders, which is extremely high for NCAA programs. They will be looking to take a step forward this year as they cement their role in the NCAA.

Jets loan CHL defenseman, Nelson Nogier should be a teammate with Michael Spacek, provided Spacek plays in the CHL.

Received Qualifying Offer

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Both of these players should sign deals after receiving qualifying offers. Julian Melchiori will play in the AHL, sheltering the Jets new prospects, while Paul Postma will likely bounce between the Jets 3rd pair and the pressbox.

Goaltenders

NHL

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Paul Maurice already hinted that the Jets will likely start off the season with Ondrej Pavelec as the starter, with Michael Hutchinson backing up Pavelec. While this has raised concern for some, as Pavelec is likely to falter from his career high season, it should be noted that Maurice has already proven that he is willing to sit Pavelec if the results indicate so.

AHL or ECHL

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With Pavelec’s and Hutchinson’s jobs already defined by Maurice, it looks as superstar prospect Connor Hellebuyck will be returning to the AHL to start for the second consecutive year. Whether Eric Comrie will back up or start in the ECHL remains to be seen. If Comrie starts in the ECHL, look to the Jets to hire a veteran goaltender for some added depth.

Junior or NCAA

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Comrie has graduated to pro-level hockey and Jason Kasdorf has been traded, so Jamie Phillips sits as the Jets only goaltending prospect remaining.

It is likely the Jets draft a netminder next summer to keep a steady pace of prospects in their pool.

Summary Table

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  • Jets owl

    Harstad and Stoykewych both had AHL ATO’s with the Icecaps last spring. Serville didn’t even get an ATO. Is there any news about what’s happening with them, are they totally out of the picture now?