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yave1964

Jets offseason primer

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FINAL RECORD 52-20-10 114 points won their division defeated the Wild then the Predators before falling to the Knights in the conference finals.

 

  Best season in franchise history by far was led by one of its old guard Blake Wheeler who had 91 points, 21 more than the next closest guy, but lets be frank this team is/was stacked and got great performances throughout the lineup. Laine had 44 goals, Ehlers established himself as a top six guy to bank on for the next decade, Scheifele missed 22 games but had 60 points in 60 games and was fantastic. Kyle Connor completed the top six with 31 goals. Their top two lines are as good or better than any team in the game. Throw in old crusty vets Little and Perreault on the third line and able to fill in on the top lines when they had injuries and the potency fo their forwards was a thing of beauty. Stastny came over from the rival Blues and had 13 points in 19 games. Lowry, Tanev, Copp and Armia were all pro bottom liners who did a great job.

  The defense was very solid if not quite as good, Big Buff had a nice but unspectacular season with 8 goals and 45 points. Trouba and Morrissey are the future and looked like the real deal, Tyler Myers finished out the top four with a solid year. 

  In net Connor Hellebuyck was arguably the best goalie in the game going 44-11-9 with a 2.36 goals against made him a finalist for the Vezina trophy. 

 In short this was a hell of a team and they are young and poised to build off the remarkable season.

  Like any team not all went well, Mason was signed to push Hellboy and was pretty bad. Trouba couldn't stay healthy and the lack of depth on defense was noticeable especially when he was out. Kulikov and Enstrom have watched their skill level erode, Chiarot played quite a lot but really is best suited to be a 7th d-man or  even a very good AHLer. A lot of kids such as Niku, Lemieux, Petan nd Poolman were given a chance and didn't take the puck and run with it. A lot of this is nitpicking as the Jets are deep and talented everywhere.

 

FREE AGENTS

Stastny is an UFA but the Jets have reached out, he may return. Hutchinson is a free agent and a goner. Matthias, Hendricksand Enstrom are all likely gone as well. The Jets have 20 million in cap space and more if the cap is raised but Trouba, Poolman, Helboy, Morrisey, Armia and Lowry are all RFA and will eat up most if not all of the cap space. Also Wheeler and Myers are UFA next season and both are wanting a good payday. This is a well built team but like most such the cap will be the bane that they have to fight past.

 

 TOP PROSPECTS

I love me some Jack Roslovic, a solid winger who can score and is responsible on defense, he will crack the middle six and has 2nd line in the next few years written all over him. Some are fans of Brendan Lemieux but I just don't see much other than maybe a solid 4th liner. I like Tucker Poolman quite a lot and think he will improve the depth on the back end and he may push for top four minutes. Little Nic Petan took a step back last year but still has a nice scoring touch. Massive Logan Stanley is a few years away on the back end but they love his raw ability.

 

 OFFSEASON QUESTIONS:

MONEY, MONEY MONEY. WHO GETS IT AND FOR HOW LONG? I gotta believe that Trouba, Hellebuyck and Morrisey are going to get long term deals this summer and the rest of the RFA class may be hardballed to make the financials work. Wheeler is aging like a fine wine and will demand a commitment but is part of the fabric of the franchise. Myers may be squeezed out if Poolman breaks through.

 

 ARE THEY A CUP CONTENDER? Yes, a thousand times yes. Kids who ar eyoung and hungry and veterans who want to win before hanging them up, I gotta love their chances to win a cup in the next two years and break the Canada curse.  After the two year window a lot depends on if they can replace Buff andkeep the core intact. 

 

  

 

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