The Winnipeg Jets assigned ten players to the Manitoba Moose today with an additional five being assigned pending waivers.
The Jets now have 16 forwards, nine defencemen, and two goalies remaining at training camp.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) September 28, 2018
This in itself was no surprise as the Jets have to get down to a 23 man roster in the coming days.
The full list is as follows as per the Jets official website:
The following players will be assigned to the Moose pending waivers:
The big news regarding these assignments was the fact that Sami Niku is on the list. Niku had a great training camp including scoring multiple goals in the preseason and many fans had him pencilled in on the second pairing with Dustin Byfuglien. Unfortunately for Niku, being waivers exempt likely had something to do with him being sent down. In addition, some argued that his defensive coverage was lacking a little bit despite being an offensive juggernaut.
— Brian Finlayson (@YWGBrian) September 28, 2018
Other than Niku, there are no real surprises on the list. Most of these players had no real shot at making the team and were expected to get sent down. The lone exception might be Eric Comrie who was fighting for a backup role with Laurent Brossoit. Brossoit is the more experienced netminder and it will serve Comrie well to have one more season in the AHL as the starting goalie.
No real surprises here but Sami Niku continued to see his stock raise at camp. Skylar Mckenzie is the other notable for me. Name is definitely on the map now https://t.co/orLdCzQl0E
— Sean The Oilcan (@SeantheOilcan) September 28, 2018
Where do the Jets go from here?
The Jets now have 9 defensemen and 16 forwards that are still a part of training camp.
With 27 players remaining, the Jets still have to cut four players from camp. Accoring to Murat Ates of the Athletic, both Spacek and Stanley are injured and are expected to be sent down as well.
It's believed that Spacek and Stanley are hurt and expected that their demotions will soon follow.
— Murat Ates (@WPGMurat) September 28, 2018
This now leaves the Jets with 25 players with two left to cut. On defense, the Jets are likely going to cut Poolman as he is the only player that is waiver exempt. The forward side is slightly different as both Vesalainen and Lemieux are waiver exempt. This means the final cut is likely between these two players. I would give the edge to Vesalainen to make the team, especially when looking at the lines that have been run over the last few preseason games.
Vesalainen appears to have a slight edge over Lemieux, but things might change in the coming days as the Jets are ramping up their practice schedule with the regular season on the horizon.