JN AirMail: March 28, 2016

JNAirMail 2

As always you can have your questions related to the Jets or hockey
in general to this little weekly main-in segment we do here at Jets
Nation.

How you may ask? Well you can tweet us and make sure you add the #JNAirMail hashtag so it won’t be missed or you can direct
message us on Twitter, ask away on our Facebook page OR e-mail us at
JNAirMail@shaw.ca

Sam asks: Any plus to Kyle Connor spending another year in the NCAA?

None.

Kyle piled up 35 goals and 71 points in 38 games played and he’s a near lock on the Hobey Baker Award. Players like Jack Ehichel and Dylan Larkin have had similar type standout seasons in the NCAA and have transitioned very well into the NHL.

At this point there is nothing left for him to do at Michigan except for stay around another year and dominate the ice but it wouldn’t help his growth as a hockey player and it wouldn’t put his stock higher in terms of making any more money on an Entry Level Contract deal if he has yet another dominating season, but it sure as heck would open himself to the chance of an injury and jeopardize any potential future earnings or his pro career entirely.

Not to mention, there may be a fair amount of upheaval at Michigan this summer and chances are the Wolverines may not be in the same kind of position to make the Frozen Four as they were this season. His “CCM” line-mates J.T Compher and Tyler Motte will likely be joining their NHL clubs in Colorado and Chicago respectively and there is talk that his coach Red Berenson could also be leaving.

The next time you see Kyle Connor, it will be as a signed member of the Winnipeg Jets, the only real question is if it happens in the next week or so and they bring him in for the final couple weeks of hockey, or if they get a deal done this summer.

Buff’s Buffet asks: Thoughts on the Moose signing Brandon Denham?

In case you missed it, over the weekend – Saturday morning to be exact – the Manitoba Moose signed forward Brandon Denham to an amateur tryout agreement for the rest of this season. The 24 year old has spent the last four years at Robert Morris University and had a terrific season this past year with 22 goals and 42 points in 39 games played.

He attended camps for both the Penguins and Jets last year – Garret briefly covered him as a player to watch – and was an training camp invite for the Calgary Flames back in 2014.

He’s got great size – 6’4″ & 205 pounds and has gotten better each season as he’s gone from depth player to forward that can score and play a good physical game. He is also a bit of a specialist on the power play as his eight goals on the PP was good for 7th in the nation.

DenhamStats

There may be nothing real outstanding to this signing and the Jets may not have stumbled upon anything special (you would hope a 24 year old would put up great numbers in D-1 hockey surrounded by kids 3 or 4 years younger so it’s hard to fawn over his numbers as we do with someone like Kyle Connor) but you also don’t find gold if you don’t dig a little.

That is to say, there is no certainty that this try out with the Moose will lead to an actual contract offer this summer, but at the very least the Jets are keeping the door open for him
to return this fall while other teams were also showing interest. It doesn’t hurt at all to bring him in and see how he does in a pro hockey setting.