When Josh Healey was asked how he ended up signing with the Calgary Flames, he added an interesting tidbit reagarding the final steps of his decision.
Josh Healey: "It came down to Winnipeg & Calgary, and I fell in love with the idea of playing in Calgary." #Flames
— Sportsnet 960 (@Sportsnet960) March 26, 2017
The Edmonton native was interested in playing in Western Canada and as Elliotte Friedman mentioned in his 30 thoughts column, all four Western Canadian teams were interested in signing Healey. But throughout the whole process, Winnipeg was not brought up as a serious bidder for Healey. Hearing that Healey expressed interest in Winnipeg likely has fans wondering; who is this guy?
Who is Josh Healey?
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) March 25, 2017
Healey, 22, finished his collegiate career with a strong senior season in which he recorded 25 points in 35 games and finished fourth in Big-ten defensive scoring. Healey isn’t shy at throwing his body around and his physical game was always a step ahead of the college game. Mind you, as highly touted as Healey was, this year’s college free agency class was regarded as a rather thin one.
Why did Healey consider the Jets?
Prior to Healey’s comments, there wasn’t much noise connecting Healey to the Jets. But from a hockey perspective, Winnipeg looked to be a prime destination for Healey. Along with all the injuries to the Winnipeg’s backend, the Jets defensive depth has long been abysmal.
With five Jets defenceman injured, the Jets could have offered Healey NHL experience right off the bat and with him being a left-shot, Healey could have suited up alongside Dustin Byfuglien or perhaps even Jacob Trouba down the road in Winnipeg.
So, why did he choose Calgary?
#Flames signing FA D Josh Healey tells me 1 thing: CGY planning to transition bottom pairing to the youth and they sold him on opportunity.
— Christian Roatis (@CRoatis) March 26, 2017
Losing out on Healey is not the end of the world.
As of right now, the Jets have exciting defenceman up-and-coming in their system. Luke Green and Jake Kulevich are with the Manitoba Moose on ATO’s and in a matter of hours, we may even see Tucker Poolman report to the Winnipeg Jets. Hearing that the Jets were close to signing a highly touted name may sting fans for a bit, but frankly, a depth signing of Healey isn’t going to trasnform the team’s defence.