Tucker Poolman has made quite an impression on the Jets and fans early on in the 2017-18 campaign. After a very strong pre-season, Tucker started the regular season in the press box and has filled in when injury has taken down both Dmitri Kulikov as well as Dustin Byfuglien. There is almost no doubt that Poolman likely deserves a spot on the regular defensive lineup, but as of right now, when all healthy there isn’t any room for him to squeeze into the lineup.
There are three different ways the Jets can go moving forward when it comes to the dilemma on what to do with Poolman:
Option A: Keep the status quo. Given how injury prone some Jets defensemen have been over the last few seasons, the best thing that Paul Maurice and the coaching staff could possibly do is to do nothing at all and let the situation sort itself out. Poolman has already filled in three of the Jets first six games, so this has already kind of played itself out, but the idea here is to make him an “every game” player, not just one who fills in.
Option B: Send him to the AHL. If he’s not going to get everyday playing time with the Jets, send him down to the Moose and have him play in every game there. He’s still only 24 years old and this is just his first season as a pro, so there is still a need for him to develop his game – it’s been good so far, but there has been the odd mistake on the ice made by him mostly due to not fully understanding the speed at the pro level as well as how much wiser his competition will be. He’s waiver exempt, so no worries about losing him there. Just pat the kid on the back, give him the ol “it’s not you, it’s us.. we’re just not ready yet” speech and let him skate circles in the AHL.
Option C: Trade someone to make room. This may seem like the easiest option for those that love to trade away entire teams in NHL18, but in reality this may be the toughest choice to act on. Who do you move? Myers and Kulikov may be prime candidates, but Myers injury history likely scares teams away and you just signed Kulikov, so trading him away months later isn’t a good look for your club. No way you trade away a young blue-chip prospect like Josh Morrissey right? Trouba? You should be trying to sign him to a long term deal, not trading him away because he’s an RFA this summer. Enstrom? After all the tap dancing the team did in the summer to keep Vegas’ paws off him and having him do the team a huge favor by waiving his NMC to help keep the roster together with him on it? Byfuglien? (Trust us, you’re not trading Byfuglien)
So JetsNation… WWYD?
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