It may have had its ups and downs, but overall it was a good season for the Winnipeg Jets. They ended the season finishing third in the North Division, putting them up against the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the playoffs. In one of the biggest shocks of the playoffs, the Jets ended up sweeping the Oilers and facing Montreal in the second round, where they lost to the biggest shock of the playoffs in the Canadiens being swept themselves. But let’s take a look back at this crazy season for the Jets.
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By The Numbers
Power Play: 22.98% (7th)
Penalty Kill: 80.54% (13th)
Goals For: 170 (12th)
Goals Against: 152 (10th)
Best Player – Mark Scheifele
In this shortened season, Scheifele was still able to produce 63 points in 56 games, making him a point per game player, which is very impressive. He also had the second-highest faceoff percentage of his career at 49.8 percent.
Biggest Disappointment – Pierre-Luc Dubois
For the biggest disappointment, it wasn’t just that this player struggled, it’s that he struggled after a change of scenery. The return to Winnipeg in the deal that sent Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Dubois struggled mightily for the Jets. In 41 games with Winnipeg, he had 20 points. It was by far his worst offensive year in his young career. The worst part of it was that fans thought he would be able to find his scoring touch away from John Tortorella. Hopefully, he can prove the Jets made the right decision bringing him in next year during a full season.
Behind the Bench Analysis
In his eighth year behind the bench for the Jets, head coach Paul Maurice extended his playoff streak to four straight years, and his fifth year in the playoffs with Winnipeg. This year, Maurice was able to improve his power play to one of the top ten power plays in the league. The penalty kill also improved tremendously going from 22nd to 13th. Maurice made special teams and team defense a big priority this year and it made the Jets a hard opponent all throughout the season.
Front Office Analysis
The biggest move that general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff made this season by far was the Laine trade. But other than that, the Jets weren’t very active in the trade market. The only other trade they made brought Jordie Benn into the fold from the Vancouver Canucks. He will have an interesting offseason ahead of him to continue to build the team around the core he has assembled, but we’ll get to that in a little bit.
2021 NHL Draft Picks
The Jets currently have four picks in the 2021 NHL Draft, including the 18th overall pick. They do not have a fourth-round pick, trading it to the Vegas Golden Knights for Cody Eakin, a sixth-round pick, part of the Benn trade, or a seventh-round pick as that was traded to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Bogdan Kiselevich.
Offseason Wish/Checklist & Prognosis for 2021-2022
The Jets have a lot of work to do this offseason in terms of deciding on players to re-sign. They have plenty of contracts that are expiring this year including Neal Pionk and Andrew Copp, both of whom are restricted free agents who could be in line for a significant pay raise. The Jets do have some cap space to work with, $21 million to be exact, so after they sign some of their free agents, it will be interesting to see where they go in terms of acquiring some potential depth for their team.
For 2021-2022, the Jets will once again be a team to watch in the Central Division and they will certainly be hoping for a big year from Dubois. The Central Division should be competitive as it always is, but the Jets, surrounded by their current core, and of course, Connor Hellebuyck in net, should be right in the thick of things.
Follow Carson Babbini on Twitter @cbabs1120
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