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JN AirMail: Real Talk On Wheeler and Ehlers

For this week’s edition of JetsNation AirMail, we have a light load of questions and even fewer people answering those questions. Just myself and from the JetsNation Podcast (which you can find on iTunes by the way), Kyle Buhler.

Remember if you want to have your most pressing Jets or hockey related questions answered by us, send them to us on Twitter and make sure you include the hashtag #JNAirMail so we don’t miss them! You can also mail us electronically if that is to your liking as well.

Art M: I think we all know the obvious answer is Connor Hellebuyck who has seen a dramatic improvement in his game this season, so for the sake of being different, I am going to say it’s Patrik Laine. Part of it is I feel he understands the game better having been in it for a year now, his positioning is better and I feel he’s been a bit better in his own end, but I also feel he’s using his size and physical play to give himself some room on the ice.

Kyle: I am going to say Josh Morrissey. Last year Morrissey was solid and dependable but this season he has really shown he is a first pairing defender. He plays against top competition and is chipping in offensively and defensively. He can skate really well, has a good first pass, and can eat up minutes in all situations.

Art M: There is a trade or two that probably can be made, but I don’t feel like a two game slump is a good reason to make such a move. They could use some help with forward depth – missing two centers due to injury has made that obvious – but I still want them to wait for a smart deal, not just throw prospects at rentals because the window might be opening.

Kyle: I have said for the last month that the Jets don’t need much, but there is room to improve the bottom six. An upgraded Hendricks, or Tanev would help out this team in the playoffs.

Art M: He’s not “really good” but he’s not overly bad either. I think for right now it’ll make due at center but it’s pretty easy to see he keeps drifting back to his winger side during plays and it’s thrown him and Laine off a bit. This talk of maybe if Wheeler should stay at center even when Scheifele comes back? That’s silly.

Kyle: The Jets line combos are fine the way they are. There really aren’t many better options given all of the current injuries. With everyone healthy, this team is really good and is top of the division. Wheeler is a decent centre but his fast and aggressive style of play seems to be more effective on the wing.

Art M: At first when I read this I wanted to point and yell “BLASPHEMOUS!” but you have a bit of a point, he’s not an overly physical player, doesn’t exactly defend all that well when the puck is in his zone, and he does make questionable decisions with the puck at times. But that said I also feel like those questionable decisions work out from time to time. People who follow me or know me may roll their eyes at this next statement, but to me Ehlers is the Winnipeg Jets version of San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili. Great skills, plays hard, is known for *ahem* flopping once in a while to draw a foul/penalty, and will make reckless offensive plays where your running commentary will be “Oh no, what are you doing? That’s not gonna.. That’s a stupid.. OH WHAT A PLAY! GREAT PLAY!”

Kyle: I actually think Ehlers is a really good passer. He has shown before that he can distribute the puck. The only problem is that he is normally way ahead of the rest of his teammates due to his speed and his reckless offense. If he could slow down a little bit it would help his hockey sense and give him more time to make decisions. As for checking and defense, he will never be great at either, but if he learns to slow down a bit on offense it will help his defensive game as well.