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Versatile and effective with the right linemates: Vladislav Namestkinov Jets Nation year in review

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Photo credit:© Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Connor Baldwin
1 month ago
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It’s time for yet another Jets Nation year in review. I’ve been chipping away over the last 2 weeks at covering each of the Jets main roster players from the 2023-24 season. I like to give a little overview of how their season went, discuss the rest of their career up to this point, take a look at their current contract, and look ahead to next year to see what the next season holds for that player. Earlier today I covered the Jets backup goalie, Laurent Brossoit, and now it’s time to look at Vladislav Namestnikov.
Vladislav Namestnikov played his 1st full season with the Winnipeg Jets after being acquired during the 2023 trade deadline from the San Jose Sharks for a 2025 4th round pick. Overall, I’d say it was a successful season for Namestnikov. The 31-year old from Zhukovsky, Russia is a former 1st round, 27th overall pick in the 2011 NHL entry draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning. After spending the first 7 years of his career in the Lightning organization, Namestnikov has been quite the “journeyman” within the NHL, swapping teams several times including a few times at the trade deadline. Since the 2017-18 season, Namestnikov has played for the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning (again) before joining the Jets in 2022-23.
Perhaps Namestnikov benefitted from staying with the same team all season, because he put up his 2nd best season in terms of points, with 37. Namestnikov had 11 goals and collected a career high in assists with 26 in his 78 games played. He also matched his career best +/- at +17. In the playoffs, Namestnikov scored 1 goal in the 4 games he appeared in against the Colorado Avalanche. The forward was not able to play in game 5 of the 5 game 1st round series after suffering a fractured cheekbone from a puck that hit the side of his face in game 4.
The biggest plus that Namestnikov brings to the Jets lineup is his versatility and effectiveness when paired with the right linemates. Namestnikov played up and down the lineup depending on injuries and different line combinations that were tried out throughout the season for the Jets. As a former 1st round pick, the top 6 potential was once there for Namestnikov, but he has still developed into a fine secondary scoring option. Early in his career with the Lightning his scoring touch was more evident, but now he’s best know for the variety of roles he can play, including on both the powerplay and penalty kill. You also can’t discount his playmaking ability, and he seemed to find his touch this season by collecting his new career high in assists with 26 in mostly a bottom 6 role.
After being acquired by the Jets at the 2023 trade deadline, Namestnikov signed a 2-year, 2 million per year deal on free agency day. That means that in the 2024-25 season the Jets will still have Namestnikov under contract for 2 million who should provide them some solid value. It’s a little early to know if the Jets will keep Namestnikov past next season, but if they don’t want to re-sign him they can try to make a deal at the trade deadline, as Namestnikov has been there before on deadline day. That being said, Namestnikov produced at a very solid rate this season and may have found himself a more long term home with the Jets if he has himself another solid year coming up.
Next season, what would you want to see out of Namestnikov? I think that he can build off of this season and get another 35-45 point season. His versatility in the lineup is something that’s not easy to find, and he’s experienced enough now in the league that he can play a variety of roles for different situations. Namestnikov can also play on the wing or at centre, so you could see him playing a bottom 6 role with either a pair of more physical players, or perhaps some younger or newer players looking to establish themselves on this Jets forward group.
Overall, Namestnikov is the type of player that usually goes undeservingly unnoticed most nights. He’s a smart, experienced player who understands his role and knows how to manage a game with whatever type of linemates he plays with. Look out for Namestnikov in the 2024-25 season to help the Jets get some wins, and prove himself as a worthy piece on the team in the final year of his contract before possibly hitting free agency.

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