It’s cut-down day in Winnipeg as the Jets made some moves to trim the roster from 44 players to down to 31. They are down to 19 forwards, 9 defensemen and 3 goaltenders.
We’ll go over the cuts, see what is next for them and then take a look at some of the notable players left…
The Waiver Moves
To start the day, the Jets placed five players on waivers: Goaltender Michael Hutchinson, Defensemen Julian Melchiori and Cameron Schilling as well as forwards Michael Sgarbossa and Buddy Robinson. If all five clear waivers, the Jets have started they are designated for assignment to the AHL Moose.
What Does It Mean?
The first question that instantly pops to mind is if we’ve seen the last of Michael Hutchinson with the Winnipeg Jets organization. It probably isn’t and it doesn’t seem overly likely that any other team has a need for his services on an NHL level at this time, but that doesn’t mean that if he does clear waivers that he will remain with the Jets / Moose all season. The Jets have a bit of a log jam in goal right now. Eric Comrie should be getting the majority of starts with the Moose and the development of Jamie Phillips will be much better served if he’s up with the Moose in even a backup role as opposed to being a starter for the ECHL Jaxsonville Icemen.
It’s easy to get a sense that the Jets are ready to move on from Hutch now and if he does clear waivers, it would be prudent of GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to trade Hutch for even a later round draft pick.
As for the other waiver moves, highly unlikely any NHL team claims them and not a surprise any of them are in the first round of cuts. Melchiori and Sgarbossa had very faint, outside chances of making the main club, but needed to have near perfect camps.. safe to say, they did not.
The Moves To The Moose
Seven more players didn’t require the whole waiver process to be gone through, so they head directly to the Moose who open up their camp tomorrow, they are goaltender Jamie Phillips, defensemen Sami Niku and Nelson Nogier as well as forwards Mason Appleton, Chase De Leo, Jansen Harkins and Jimmy Lodge.
No Surprises Here Either
The club are quite high on players like Niku, Appleton and De Leo, but there simply isn’t any room for them on the roster, nor are they quite ready for NHL action just yet.
One More Move
Logan Stanley has been reassigned back to juniors where he will join the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers Monday morning. Having lost almost a full year of development due to injury last season, here is hoping Logan can stay healthy and have a productive year with Kitchener.
Eric Comrie remains and he may get a start in one of the last three games, possibly against the Flames on Monday. so that the coaches can get a look at him in action before sending him down to the Moose.
Jan Kostalek is injured – he came to camp with an undisclosed issue – He’ll be sent down to the Moose as soon as he’s medically cleared.
Tucker Poolman has been very good throughout the mini camp, rookie tournament and now main camp. At this point he’s going to force the Jets to make a tough call regarding their roster. It doesn’t make sense to keep him with the main club if he isn’t used within the six that will play night in and night out, but it’s tough to justify sending him down to the AHL right now. Could the Jets send another defenseman like Tyler Myers or Tobias Enstrom to clear some cap space AND keep Poolman playing? Stay tuned…
No surprises with the forwards yet. Marko Dano is still with the club despite all the speculation that he may be Moose bound as well.
JC Lipon and Brendan Lemieux’s efforts on Saturday night may have gained them an extra game or two this week.
Here is a look at the Jets roster as it stands now..
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) September 24, 2017