Last week we asked you to answer a handful of questions about the Winnipeg Jets, both in the season that has just passed and the critical summer to come. While other online polls an surveys asked mostly straight up yes or no questions, we wanted to go a bit deeper.
Today is part two of our two part look at your replies. Because there is a lot to go through, I am not going to waste any more words and just get right to the answers. I’ve tried to include as many interesting and as wide a variety of opinions as possible, but of course there were many that just could not be squeezed in! If you’re interested in the full report of results which also includes all the written responses, you can find it here for your perusal.
YOU’RE THE GM: Of the two notable RFAs the Jets have on offense – Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor – how do you handle their upcoming contracts? Do you sign them to long term (pricey, 5+ years) or bridge (cheaper, 2 year or less) contracts? If you sign both long term, do you trade away players like Perreault, Trouba or Byfuglien to help make room in the cap?
This is merely an opinion poll meant to get the “temperature” of Jets fans and how they’re feeling, but if I am being honest with you all, this question had at least one incorrect response and unfortunately it was the overwhelming pick. Maybe in the future will run another mini survey or reasons why fans would want to give Patrik Laine a short term bridge contract, but I suspect some people would give the same reasons for that as they would wanting to trade him away outright. Simply put, this is possibly the best time to give Laine a long term deal. Yes there may be more spent than his current value now, but if/when he fully develops into a 40-50 goal scorer and has realized his potential as a hybrid play-making/power forward, the money the team would save could be huge.
Do you think Mark Scheifele would sign for less than eight or nine million per year if the Jets hadn’t done an eight year deal with him back in 2016 and instead went with a bridge deal? Of course not.
Anyway, that’s another post for another day.
A little more encouraging is that 31% of you would like to get both long term and trade other players (Trouba? Perreault? Byfuglien?) away to fit them in.
Like I said, there were no wrong answers here… Except one was kind of wrong and we’ll have to go over this another day.
YOUR OPINION: How important is it for the Jets to trade back into the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft?
For the second year in a row, the Jets traded their first round pick (plus more) to get a somewhat needed second line center option at the previous trade deadline. While it’s understandable to see the Jets go for it while to proverbial “window” is open to challenge for a Cup (we’ll ignore the debate on just how ‘open’ it was this season) it’s probably not ideal to keep trading first round picks every year.
With only one pick in the first three rounds this year, there has been a few whispers that a deal could be done to trade a higher paid established roster player and hopefully get a current first rounder back. 55% of you it would seem would like to see the Jets get back into the first round, but not if the team is going to have to over-pay for such a deal.
PREDICT THE FUTURE: Who joins the Jets in 2019-20?
It’s Niku time next season.
We were looking for you to predict which of the Jets prospects did you expect to make a leap to full-time NHL status with the ability to pick more than one player, and unsurpraisingly 93% of you went with the Jets young Finnish defenseman.
Mason Appleton placed second and of course the common thread between the top two is they both played around 30 games with the Jets this season. With the chances that spots open up over the summer, it’s easy to expect both Niku and Appleton will be looked at to fill those roles.
YOUR OPINION: Which Jets would you say are the following… Most underrated, most overrated & most valuable.
If one question demonstrated how varied opinions are on the current status of the Winnipeg Jets and their players, it’s this one. Name a Jet and it’s likely he was cited by someone as one of the three choices. Brandon Tanev, Blake Wheeler, Patrik Laine, Dustin Byfuglien… Almost everyone on the team got a turn being listed as an underrated / underappreciated player, an overrated / over-hyped player or the team MVP of this past season.
Except Dmitry Kulikov. No one thought of him as either underrated or a team MVP.
“Most underrated is absolutely Andrew Copp, I fully believe he could be successful in a 2C role due to his incredible defensive game and his very underrated offensive ability. Most overrated Jet has gotta be either Tanev or Wheeler. Dont get me wrong I love Wheeler but he had a lot of flaws in his game last year and not a lot of people noticed them because of his point totals. Most valuable Jet is Patty Laine, scheifs is a close 2nd and then Ehlers”
“Overrated – kulikov Underrated- copp Underrated in many aspects- Laine. I think the blues series, especially the first 4 games shows the kind of player that Laine is projecting to be. Signing him to a bridge deal would be a bad idea. His defensive play was beast mode compared to most of the regular season. When I watched the way that kid was knocking pucks down to hold the zone and seeing his defensive play, I’m apt to think that he’s getting it. How much more are you going to pay a sniper who can play an all around game. Sign him quick. “
“Most underrated; Copp, Appleton, Lindholm Morrissey, Niku, Brossoit. Most Overrated; Tanev, Chiarot, Hendricks, Myers. MVP? I’d say Wheeler or Schiefele if Maurice didn’t wear them into the ground. Also they appear to be in th middle of some locker room leadership issues.
“MVP: Begins and ends with Wheeler. Only Jet along with Tanev that doesn’t take nights off. Most underrated: Tanev. If Maurice had any vision at all, Tanev would have replaced Laine or Ehlers in Top-6 for at least several games to give him a chance. Overrated: Laine and Ehlers. Disappear for continual games and get by solely due to their shot and speed, respectively. “
“Underrated: Tanev – The Jets NEED to keep him. Underrated: Brossoit – FINALLY! A back-up everyone can have confidence in. Overrated: Little – What does he bring to the team that cannot be replaced? Overrated: Kulikov – Just not worth the money he’s making Overrated: Ehlers – Take away his speed, what else does he bring? He disappears in the playoffs. MVP – Connor, Tanev, Scheifele”
“Most Underrated: Josh Morrissey. He’s the best defenseman on the Jets and one of the most underrated blueliners in the NHL. He’s very versatile. He can skate, is a great puck mover, shut down on defense especially in terms of gap control, physical, and puts up good offensive production with limited looks on the powerplay. I think he should get more time on the PP… maybe even on the top unit. Most Overrated: Patrik Laine. The guy has come a long way in terms of his 200 foot game. However, he gets looked at like a superstar when really if he’s not scoring goals he is costing you on the ice. I still think Laine could be perennial 40-plus goal scorer and could become a force in 5 on 5 play as well. I just don’t think he is one of the Jets top 7 or 8 players.”
YOU’RE THE GM: What is one trade you’d make this summer and why?
Ok, we get it… it’s time to trade Trouba, at least practically every response to this question listed him as the guy to trade this summer. Some of you cited the rumors that he doesn’t really want to play in Winnipeg as the reason. Some of you would like him to stay but also don’t want to risk losing him for nothing. Either way most of you figure he’s as good as gone and the default choice here.
Kulikov’s name also came up quite a bit as did the likes of Mathieu Perreault and Bryan Little. All three of which have no trade clauses of some variety, so moving them on will involve some maneuvering on the part of Kevin Cheveldayoff.
“Well that’s not an easy question to answer because you don’t know what Cheveldayoff is dealing with. I think if Jacob Trouba decides he wants to move on from Winnipeg, this summer is the time to trade him. I think they could potentially get back a high pick and a good defensive prospect in return. The other move i’d do is look for a trade partner to take on Dmitri Kulikov’s contract. If that is not possible I would just buy him out. Moving Eric Comrie as part of a package with Kulikov or Trouba is another option.”
“Trouba to Florida for Huberdeau. We need a second line centre sounds like Trouba wants to play for an American team and I can dream. :)”
“I would try trade out Salary… Kulikov, Little, Perreault should all be traded. I don’t expect to get more than a few mid-late round picks for them. “
“Trouba and Perreault. Trouba because he’s our ticket into the 1st round and likely returns the 3 Ps (pick player prospect). Matty P because you need to clear some space and his value is high. Based on his deployment, there are guys in the system who can maybe fill that role. I’d hate to lose him, but that’s where we are.”
“Trade Wheeler. His 5vs5 play isn’t worth his new contract. Too much money for a PP specialist.”
“Lowry, Overrated for what he provides. His offense is that of a 20-25 point center. He is overused to the detriment of better players and younger players development such as Roslovic and Perreault. If Vesselien makes the team next year he needs more than 6 minutes of ice time. Could be replaced by Copp. Could yield some draft picks or prospects”
“Nikolaj Ehlers for Oscar Klefbom to shore up the LD and give some cap flexibility. And because players coming out of Edmonton almost always do better once they leave.”
Hopefully since our reasons why you shouldn’t trade Nik Ehlers was published well after this response was given, you’ve changed your mind and realized that trading Ehlers is a bad idea.