Jets youngsters firing on all cylinders

On paper, the Jets 8-7-2 record may not stand out as impressing. But the Jets record shouldn’t distract you from thinking the Jets aren’t making noise around the league. The youth that Kevin Cheveldayoff and co have worked so patiently towards assembling is starting to come to fruition.  A young NHL team like the Jets is going to have growing pains as they grow as a unit, but that doesn’t automatically entail the Jets lurking around the bottom of the NHL standings for the majority of the season. 

As we’ve seen 17 games in to the season, it looks like Winnipeg is starting to grow up pretty fast. 

As of now, 23 year-old Mark Scheifele’s 20 points leads the entire NHL and 18 year-old Patrik Laine’s 11 goals puts him first in the league in that category.

The Jets two centre pieces have flat-out exploded to start out the year. Scheifele was bound for a breakout year, but many didn’t expect his impact to be felt to this magnitude. The Jets number one centre has climbed in to elite territory and has made his new 8-year 49 million dollar contact extension worth every penny. 

If you told me that Patrik Laine would be leading the league in goals almost 20 games in to the season, I would have been pessimistic ( to say the least). Laine is going to be a really exceptional talent for years to come and it’s really crazy that he’s making such a profound impact so quickly in to his first NHL campaign. Hockey fans everywhere have been a-buzzed about the development of Scheifele and Laine, as they should. But it should be noted, the Jets youth movement isn’t solely driven on the shoulders of Scheifele and Laine. 

With Bryan Little, Mathieu Perreault, Shawn Matthias, Drew Stafford and Joel Armia are all on the IR, many of the Jets top prospects have received call-ups with the Jets, and they’ve filled in quite nicely. Andrew Copp has returned to his spot at fourth line centre quite nicely, Marko Dano has showed he can not only lay the body, but chip in offensively and Nic Petan is silencing his critiques one day at a time. 

The NHL is transitioing to a young man’s league and it seems like the Jets are following suit with their energy players being young players as opposed to incompetent veterans, like the Jets have put out in the past. The youth movement is coming in full circle, with all four of Winnipeg’s lines having some youth mixed in.

With Jacob Trouba back ( for the time being ) that’s undoubtedly a boost to the Jets. Adam Lowry is bouncing back from a dissapeointng sophomore season and is looking like a really solid third line centre. 

Having players like Mathieu Perreault, Bryan Little and Joel Armia out of the lineup is a big blow, but the fact the Jets prospects have filled the void so well is not only promising for the future, but the present day. One would hope Winnipeg will reward some call-ups with an extended say, as some deserve it. Andrew Copp has shown he should overtake Alexander Burmistrov’s post of fourth line centre while Marko Dano has shown he has out-played Chris Thorburn, but we all know the Jets won’t be demoting Thorburn anytime soon. 

The Jets youth has been making an impact in all facets for the Jets. The ” future” and ” 5 year plan” that fans have mocked for years is coming alive this season, and it’s looking pretty darn good.

  • Paul from NZ

    “On paper, the Jets 8-7-2 record may not stand out as impressing”

    Agree 100 percent. With the injuries this team got early, and the fact they were missing Trouba, plus the schedule they have, I was fearful of horrid start to the season.

    The fact we are 1 game of 0.500 and at greater than 1 point per game is great. Add to this the fact that goal tending has not been helping them win games, and the youngsters also may improve during the year, and its looking pretty good I think.

    Of course, season is only 20 percent done, and can still go pear shape, but so far I think its a solid pass

    I really think Little coming back will help the team a lot. He will boost Wheeler I hope and all of a sudden provide 2 lines that are a massive threat to opposition.