It’s July and as expected, the mail is a little light as many of the Nation are focused on the summer weather and about things other than hockey. But still, any time is a good time to answer questions about the Jets and about any thing else that comes up in hockey and we got a question that involves each today!
And as always, if you have a Jets or hockey related question in general burning away in your head, be sure to @ reply our Twitter account with the hashtag #JNAirMail and we’ll get to answering it next week.Andy on Facebook asks: Based on how the team looks now, how do you think the Vegas Golden Knights will do in their first season?
Art: Their defense is going to be led by the likes of Nate Schmidt, Shea Theodore and Jason Garrison and I can’t help but think M.A. Fluery really should have been careful with the wish he asked for because I think I’d rather be a backup on a playoff team than in the middle of a firing squad in the desert. I don’t mind their forward group, but it’s shallow and it’s hard to score goals when you’re pulling pucks out of the back of your own net. That all said.. It’s not crazy to think they’ll be better than Colorado at least.
Cassie: I think with how they built the team so far, they’re poised to be a tank team by design. M. A. Fluery probably didn’t want to go this route, but for the VGK, it’s the best route to take for the future. It’s smart of them to build up as if they were a rebuilding team from the start so they can have a decent pipeline of players down the line. I think they’ll be better than Colorado, but they’ll be hoping for the lottery again in my eyes.
Tony: They will be better than people think. I can see them being better than the Avs, Devils, Canucks and Wings. Their d-core will be at least average same with goaltending that alone will win you some games.
@Soschel asks: Which surprise player could make the Winnipeg Jets?
WPGChief: In my opinion, it will not be much of a surprise but in discussion with some of my friends, many do not expect Brendan Lemieux to make the Winnipeg Jets next year. I believe, however, that management and coaches alike are still very high on Lemieux, and he could easily replace Tanev in the lineup, being the “gritty” player who has previously shown a scoring touch. Last season in the AHL was marred by injuries and he should be coming into training camp with a chip on his shoulder. If he comes into the lineup, expect Tanev and Petan to be in the press box with Lemieux planted on the 4th line with Copp and Armia (should Connor be placed on the 2nd or 3rd line).
Another surprise player would be centre Jack Roslovic. As mentioned before, Copp has historically performed better on the wing, and while he has performed admirably in the faceoff circle as a centre, Roslovic could bring his Moose scoring leading prowess to the Jets on the 4th line to gain valuable NHL experience while improving the Jets’ scoring depth. While I think this is more of a long shot, I at the same time do not feel Maurice likes going into the 17/18 season with having Petan as his only other possible 4th line centre. Training camp will definitely be interesting as players try to compete for some open (and given) spots.
Art: J.C. Lipon is my pick to at least make it out of camp and onto the opening night roster. I also don’t think he stays around very long with his two-way deal, but I predict he has a strong camp and the Jets take an extended look at him into the regular season.
Tony: Don’t sleep on Roslovic. I can see Maurice giving him a shot at the 3rd line center. I think Roslovic will start there, but not sure if he will stay there past 9-10 games.