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Disciplined and can play in almost any role: Alex Iafallo Jets Nation year in review

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Photo credit:© James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Connor Baldwin
1 month ago
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The Pierre-Luc Dubois trade that sent shockwaves around the NHL happened 322 days ago. One of the pieces that the Jets acquired was former Kings forward Alex Iafallo. Welcome back to another article from the Jets Nation year in review series. If this your first one you’re checking out, well, it’s a series where I take a look at the 2023-24 seasons of the main Jets roster players, and look ahead to their 2024-25 season. If you’ve been following along, you know that I talked about Nino Niederreiter this afternoon, and now it’s time to talk about another new acquistion of the Winnipeg Jets, Alex Iafallo.
The 30-year old from Eden, New York went from an undrafted forward playing for 4 years at the University of Minnesota-Duluth to an established NHL forward. The 2023-24 season was the 1st season for Iafallo on the Jets after spending the first 6 years of his NHL career with the Los Angeles Kings. Numbers wise, Iafallo put up the 2nd lowest totals of his career, but despite that, he still had an overall decent season, which I’ll get to here in a minute. Iafallo appeared in all 82 games, scoring 11 goals and added 16 assists for 27 points. One stat that jumps out to me is that Iafallo only had 6 penalty minutes all season, which shows that he had very disciplined year. In the 5 game 1st round playoff series lost to the Colorado Avalanche, Iafallo only had 1 assist.
As I just mentioned, Iafallo’s play this season goes beyond his goals and assists. Yes, they were a little bit down from what he was scoring at with the Kings, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t make a decent first impression with the Jets this season. The winger is a defence-first type of player and seemed to fit the Jets somewhat newly found defence strategy that was adopted and fine tuned throughout the year. Iafallo was used on the penalty kill, and was fairly effective at it, all while being someone who doesn’t take many penalties at all himself.
Iafallo’s versatility is what Jets writer Ken Wiebe used to describe why Iafallo is the “chameleon” of this Jets team. He’s one of those players that works hard everywhere on the ice and he’s a good team player who can adapt and blend in to whatever role the coach needs him to do. Iafallo was one of the forwards on this Jets team that played throughout the lineup, being placed anywhere from the top line for a few games with Mark Scheifele down to the 4th line in a shutout role with guys like David Gustafsson.
The overall scouting report that I’m getting from seeing some articles about Iafallo online is that he’s a hard worker that doesn’t make too many mistakes. Iafallo might lack some skill, but makes up for it by doing other things right such as getting to the net or retrieving pucks sent in deep. He’s a two-way winger like most of the Jets bottom 6 and has the ability to play some minutes against tougher matchups on a nightly basis.
Now that you know all about how Iafallo plays, that brings me to his contract and outlook for next season. Iafallo signed a 4 year, 16 million dollar deal when he was with the Kings, and that deal will expire next season with the Jets. After the 2024-25 season Iafallo will hit free agency at age 31 and the Jets will have to make a decision on his future. A lot of if the Jets re-sign Iafallo will obviously depend on what the rest of the Jets forward group looks like, but Iafallo could be a nice complimentary piece to the group if the price is right. If the price is too high, the Jets could attempt to move Iafallo at the upcoming trade deadline where they may be able to get a solid return.
What should you expect to see from Iafallo next season? I wouldn’t be surprised if his production increases as he becomes more settled in with the Jets in his 2nd season with them. That being said, if Iafallo does reach the high 30 to mid 40 range in points that could complicate their ability to re-sign him in the next off-season. There’s a lot of decisions to be made with the current Jets roster, but I would definitely be ok with the Jets finding a way to extend Iafallo. His versatility, commitment to battle, and hard work in all areas of the ice make him a valuable forward to look out for in the 2024-25 season.

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