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Some players from the Manitoba Moose that could be on the Jets everyday roster next season

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Photo credit:© Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Connor Baldwin
1 month ago
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Who on the Manitoba Moose could you see on the Winnipeg Jets roster next season? That was a question that I had to ask Jets Nation yesterday because it got me thinking. Of course, I’m talking here a player that is ready to step into an everyday spot on the Jets, whether that be at forward, defence or goalie. The players I had in mind (but wasn’t limited to) for options were Brad Lambert, Ville Heinola, Thomas Milic or other (people could send me a reply / message).  I took to Twitter / X and Instagram to poll Jets Nation on who you would most want to see as an everyday player for the Jets next season, and here are the results after 23 hours.
As you can see, the results were pretty close between Brad Lambert and Ville Heinola, especially on Twitter / X. Overall, I got a good response rate for this question which is an intriguing one to think about this off-season. Each of the 3 players plays a different position, and their future with the Winnipeg Jets next season depends a bit on how the rest of the roster shapes up. Here’s a brief showcase and pitch for each of the players mentioned, with a couple honourable mentions at the end.
Brad Lambert
The forward on this poll question, and the player chosen as the one that people would most want to see on the Jets everyday roster next season is Brad Lambert. The 20-year old from Lahti, Finland had himself a great 1st full pro season with the Manitoba Moose in 2023-24. In 64 games, Lambert put up 21 goals and added 34 assists for 55 points. The former 1st round, 3oth overall pick in the 2022 NHL entry draft split his 2022-23 season between the Moose and the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. Lambert proved this year that he was a very solid selection at 30th overall, and even got his 1st NHL game under his belt when he appeared in the Jets final regular season game. Lambert would be a very solid option to step into the Jets forward group and provide some scoring with his dynamic skating ability.
Ville Heinola
The defender on this poll, who was a close 2nd option, especially on Twitter / X is Ville Heinola. The 23-year old from Honkajoki, Finland played 41 games for the Moose this season. Heinola, a former 1st round, 20th overall pick in the 2019 NHL entry draft has 35 games of NHL experience already over 4 seasons since being drafted. Heinola did not get to make an NHL apperance this season, but he put up 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points in 41 games with the Moose in 2023-24. Fans feel that Heinola is ready to get a full-time position with the Jets next season, and he’s one of their prospects that seems to have developed fairly well over the past few seasons. Heinola is an offence-minded defenceman who still has top 4 potential, and could be great for running the powerplay with his excellent skating and overall mobility on the ice.
Thomas Milic 
Last but not least, the goalie on this poll from yesterday, who wasn’t a top choice from Jets Nation, is Thomas Milic. I can understand why Milic wouldn’t be ready for the NHL yet, as he was only drafted in the 5th round, 151st overall in the 2023 NHL entry draft. The 21-year old from Coquitlam, BC split his 2023-24 season with the Norfolk Admirals and Manitoba Moose. Prior to this season, Milic played for 4 seasons with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds. Milic had a very solid season with the Moose. In 33 games, Milic went 19-9-2 with a 2.72 goals against average and a .900 save percentage. Milic is a quick, athletic type of goalie who scouts say is able to read plays well and is calm in the crease. The likely option for the Jets next season if they are unable to sign Laurent Brossoit is to sign a cheap, experienced backup goalie. Milic may be still a project for now, but he’s looking at the moment like someone who could be an NHL goalie in a few years time.
Honourable Mentions
From this poll, there was about 1% of people that chose the “other” option. There were a few pretty valid options that were messaged to me or that I saw on the replies. The names that were mentioned include Elias Salomonsson, Kyle Capobianco, Nikita Chibrikov and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby. You could certainly make a case for each of these players, but I think the most realistic options from the choices I included on the poll are Brad Lambert and Ville Heinola. Of course, all of this is just off-season speculation for right now, and just a fun way that I can interact with Jets Nation to get a feeling for what the fans are looking for going into the 2024-25 season.

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