NHL Season Recap – Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg Jets

2016-17 season: 40-35-7, 87 points

Did not qualify for playoffs

Head Coach: Paul Maurice (2014)
5th Place Central Division General Manager: Kevin Cheveldayoff (2011)
9th Place Western Conference AHL Affiliate: Manitoba Moose

ECHL Affiliate: Tulsa Oilers

Draft Position: Will have the 13th pick in the first round

Top Forwards

POS Age Name GP Points Goals Assists +/- CF%
C 23 Mark Scheifele 79 82 32 50 18 51.7
RW 30 Blake Wheeler 82 74 26 48 6 55.0
RW 18 Patrik Laine 73 64 36 28 7 48.7
LW 20 Nikolaj Ehlers 82 64 25 39 1 51.5
C 29 Bryan Little 59 47 21 26 -7 50.9
C 29 Mathieu Perreault 65 45 13 32 -11 53.0
C 23 Adam Lowry 82 29 15 14 1 48.0
RW 23 Joel Armia 57 19 10 9 -8 46.4
C 22 Andrew Copp 64 17 9 8 8 48.5
RW 31 Drew Stafford 40 14 4 9 -2 46.4

Top Defensemen

POS Age Name GP Points Goals Assists +/- CF%
D 31 Dustin Byfuglien 80 52 13 39 10 51.4
D 22 Jacob Trouba 60 33 8 25 4 49.7
D 21 Josh Morrissey 82 20 6 14 6 50.5
D 32 Toby Enstrom 60 14 1 13 -7 48.9
D 27 Paul Postma 65 14 1 13 3 48.4

Top Goaltenders

POS Age Name Games Started W/L Record Shutouts GAA Save %
G 23 Connor Hellebuyck 53 26-19-4 4 2.89 .907
G 26 Michael Hutchinson 20 9-12-3 1 2.92 .903
G 29 Ondrej Pavelec 8 4-4-0 0 3.55 .888
G 21 Eric Comrie 1 1-0-0 0 4.07 .897

Trades Made During the Season

What They Acquired Team They Traded With In Exchange For
Conditional 2018 6th RD Pick Boston Bruins RW Drew Stafford

Impending Free Agents

POS Age Name 2016-17 Cap Hit
G 29 Ondrej Pavelec $3,900,000
RW 33 Chris Thorburn $1,200,000
D 28 Paul Postma $887,500
RW 28 Anthony Peluso $675,000
D 24 Brenden Kichton $600,000
D 29 Brian Strait $600,000

Draft Needs

  • The Jets have eight picks in the upcoming draft.  They were a lottery team last year, drafting second and took sniper Patrik Laine.  They won’t draft that high this year and the draft itself isn’t as loaded with talent as the last two drafts have been.  I think that the Jets need to address their lack of depth down the middle.  Behind Mark Scheifele there really isn’t another good puck-driving center on the Jets roster.  They also need to work on adding to their defensive depth as their NHL defensemen are going to start aging and they will need to pull talent from the minors.

What I Said About Them Before the Season

  • I thought that the most encouraging part of the Jets this offseason was the drafting of Patrik Laine who I believed to be an NHL-ready scorer based on his performances in Finland and in international tournaments.  I was calling for Winnipeg to finally re-sign Jacob Trouba, who I think is their best defenseman after Dustin Byfuglien.  I projected that the Jets would not be a playoff team this season and that Paul Maurice’s job security could be reflected by their record.

Success/Failure

  • Failure – It has now been two seasons since the Jets last made the playoffs and they seem to be no closer to returning to the playoffs.  They should have been a serious Wild Card contender this season, especially with the Stars and Kings taking steps back.  Instead, they couldn’t get a save when they needed one most and fell out of contention towards the end of the season.  They had the third worst team save percentage in the league this season, at just .900, and the fourth worst five-on-five save percentage.  This makes sense considering they had the fifth worst penalty kill percentage, at 77.45%.  To further show their defensive struggles, the Jets were a below 50% possession team with a Corsi For Percentage of just 49, really conveying a breakdown at head coach.  Paul Maurice has been considered to be on the hot seat in Winnipeg for several seasons and I can’t imagine that seat cooled much with the team’s performance this year.  Maurice has had the team near the top of the league’s offensive categories and that continued this season. They scored the fifth most goals in the league despite having a negative goal differential, but struggled on the powerplay, with a conversion rate of just 18.18%.  One of the reasons that I believe they struggled this season is that they rode a really high shooting percentage of 10% but couldn’t carry that success to other areas of their game.  This shooting percentage is comparable to those of the Capitals, Wild, Rangers, Penguins, Blues, Blue Jackets, and Blackhawks, all playoff teams.  The difference between the Jets and those teams is that the other teams could actually get saves when they mattered most.

Offseason Needs

  • Luckily for the Jets they have a solid core in place already that will help them be successful going forward.  Mark Scheifele has developed into a true number one center and one of the best overall forwards in the league and he is still just 24.  They also have Patrik Laine, who scored 36 goals in his rookie season, and he is already one of the best goalscorers in the NHL.  On defense, they already have Jacob Trouba, Dustin Byfuglien, and Tyler Myers, giving the Jets a solid right-handed defenseman on each of their three defensive pairs.  They also have more help on the way at forward and defense in the minors with Kyle Connor, Jansen Harkins, Matteo Gennaro, and Michael Spacek all having excellent seasons for their respective teams.  If at least one of these players can make the jump to Winnipeg next season and be productive players for the Jets, it will go a long way to helping the team get back into playoff contention.  The area that they have the biggest need is in net, where their combination of Ondrej Pavelec, Connor Hellebuyck, and Michael Hutchinson all struggled for the Jets.  Hellebuyck figures to be the goaltender of the future and should receive the majority of the starts next season.  They also have Eric Comrie in the minors and he also has the potential to develop into an NHL starter. I think that there is a chance that the Jets could be players in the Marc-Andre Fleury/Ben Bishop market this offseason but it has been difficult in the past for the Jets to attract free agents to Winnipeg.  However, if they can sign a veteran goaltender to a one year deal to split time with Hellebuyck and to be his mentor, I think it would be a savvy move by the team.  I also think that the Jets need to figure out other options behind Scheifele at center.  Finding other options for a third line center could add further depth to their forward group and help drive the play when their first two lines aren’t on the ice.  I think their defense group is locked in for now but would like to see them upgrade the left side to establish better balance.  Lastly, I think it is finally time for Paul Maurice to be replaced with someone different.  This is a team that needs a new direction, especially one that values puck possession more than the one Maurice has established.

*All stats and information came from hockey-reference.com, rosterresource.com, spotrac.com, NHL.com, hockeydb.com, capfriendly.com, tsn.ca, and eliteprospects.com*

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Nice read. Jet’s are a fun team to watch, and I have high expectations for. A goalie I think would fit good is the rising Philip Grubauer. He has been Holtby’s backup for a few years now and has showed signs of becoming an NHL starter. The sky is the limit for this Jet’s team.

    Like

    1. inourwheelhouse says:

      Thanks for reading this! I really appreciate it and I haven’t even “launched it” yet since I’m still working on a second host until I finish my season recaps and then I’ll move full time to WordPress.

      I really like the core of the Jets roster and think that they have a real strong chance to jump into a playoff spot in the Central Division now that the Blackhawks have begun to backslide. I think they have a diamond in Mark Scheifele and their defense is really good. I hadn’t thought about Grubauer being a good fit for them but it makes a lot of sense since he is an RFA this offseason. I thought that Scott Darling could be a good fit for them but that doesn’t matter now that he’s in Carolina.

      I’m going to continue posting season recaps for each team and please feel free to comment on any additional ones as well. Once again, I really appreciate it.

      Like

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