The Jets have recalled forward Mason Appleton from the Manitoba Moose.
Appleton, 22, leads the #MBMoose in scoring this season with 18 points (8G, 10A) in 19 games
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) November 26, 2018
Appleton’s been having a great season in the AHL as he leads the Moose in goals (8), assists (10) and points (18). Leading in all three categories is tough to do, but Appleton’s been great to start the year. Appleton was on the bubble during training camp and some people suggested he had an outside shot to make the team. Being sent down was not a big surprise though, as Appleton isn’t quite ready for the NHL.
After having an excellent season last year with the Moose, it’s nice to see Appleton get rewarded for his strong play. This recall certainly is related to Vesalainen choosing to go back to Europe as the Jets likely would have given Vesalainen a call-up before Appleton. Regardless, with Vesalainen so far away, it appears that Appleton could be the biggest beneficiary.
While it might seem like a peculiar time to call someone up, especially with the Jets playing at home against Pittsburgh and Chicago, things begin to make sense when looking at the other factors. Andrew Copp is still sidelined after getting hit into the stanchion against the Minnesota Wild. The Jets had an empty spot on the roster as they have only been carrying 22 players over the past few weeks. With Copp healthy, it allowed them to have an extra forward and an extra defender in the pressbox.
Now that Copp is hurt, it leaves the Jets with no buffer as every active forward is now in the lineup. Couple that with the Moose taking a 10 day road trip starting this week, and the Jets are left with no insurance should anyone else get hurt. It’s a smart organizational move while also allowing Appleton to gain some valuable experience. While Appleton likely won’t suit up for a game, just being around the big club is great experience for a young player trying to make his mark with the organization.