The Winnipeg Jets had a historic 2017-18 season that saw them pick up a franchise (and local NHL) record 52 wins and a berth in the Western Conference Finals. Although the end came in disappointing fashion to the Vegas Golden Knights, the future seems very bright in Winnipeg. But before we go forward into the summer with the draft and free agency, let us look back to this past season and review individual performances.
Today to kick off our 2018-19 Pilot’s Logbook player review series, we look up… look waaaaay up to Tyler Myers.
#57 – RIGHT DEFENSE
6’8″ / 229 lbs / Age: 28
Contract Status: Signed through 18-19 ($5.5 Mil/yr)
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PLAYER’S SEASON IN REVIEW
After a disastrous 2016-17 season that saw him deal with multiple injuries that limited him to just 11 games played and a family crisis involving his child, regardless of how you as a fan felt about his play on the ice, it was good to see Tyler get in a full 82 game season this time around.
Tyler’s ideal role was that of a third pairing defenseman and at the start of the season, he was paired with Dmitri Kulikov as the Jets third pairing and they produced solid results. Unfortunately injuries forced the Jets hand and bumped Myers into a top four role – sometimes even being used with the team’s top pairing and the results were a bit below average. In the end he was third on the team just below Byfuglien and Trouba for average ice time. As Myers’ advanced possession metrics show, at even strength he was not overly effective in preventing offense as he was in helping generate it and when you combine that with his higher than ideal ice time, it created issues.
The biggest issue with Myers is he is a bit of an adventure in his own end of the ice. He at times gets indecisive with the puck which leads to turnovers. Offensively Myers isn’t half bad, but therein lies more frustration because his brilliant moments on the offensive end of the ice can be few and far between.
And that really is his entire game in a nutshell anyway. He has the size, reach is one of the smooth skaters on the ice, and you would think he should just be dominant on the ice, but his hockey instincts doesn’t seem to match his physical ability.
Myers again drew top four type minutes and again it was with meddling success. He thankfully was a bit better in the offensive end in the playoffs than he was in the regular season and was second to Byfuglien in defenseman scoring on the Jets. Again though it was his work in his own end of the rink – paired mostly with Joe Morrow – where turnovers hurt his ability to execute proper zone exits and at times hurt the Jets on the scoreboard.
Tyler is entering the final year of his contract with the Jets and with the prospects the Jets have in the pipeline (Sami Niku, Tucker Poolman, Dylan Samberg, Logan Stanley) it’s hard to see the Jets wanting to keep Myers around even if he agreed to take a bit of a pay cut from his $5.5 million deal. It will be interesting to see if the Jets trade Tyler in the summer with the idea of creating instant cap space for a Connor Hellebuyck or Jacob Trouba deal, or if the Jets will hang on to him and maybe make him a part of a deadline deal.