When the Atlanta Thrashers made the transition to Winnipeg Jets, offensive defensme Paul Postma came with the package. At the time he was considered the Jets best prospect not yet in the NHL. Now Postma could be considered an NHL regular; however, there are still areas of his game needing improvement.
Paul Postma falls in position eight in the Jets Top 25 Under 25. Not bad for a 7th round flier.
Previous Rank: 5
Paul Postma, Dominating offensively at every level
Paul Postma's rookie year in the WHL was decent but far from spectacular. His 11 points was not even in the top six for his team's defensemen. Although, he was 6th in scoring for defensemen under 17 years of age. The next season Postma took a small step forward in his development, jumping up to 24 points while taking more responsibilities for the Swift Current Broncos. This production was noticeable enough to get drafted in the 7th round by the then Atlanta Thrashers.
In the end his development was not enough for what the Bronco's expected of him and Postma was traded to the Calgary Hitmen early in the next season. Paul was pushed into heavy minutes right away, anchoring the top defensive unit with Karl Alzner. Postma lead the team for defensive points and was fifteenth in the WHL. It was at this time Postma began improving his defensive game from huge liability to acceptable. He was also becoming well known for his power play lethality.
The next season was even better for Postma. Paul posted third highest point totals for his team. He also lead the league in defensive goals, assists, points and +/-. Postma's 1.20 points per a game played is the second highest CHL seasonal production of any the Jets Top 25 Under 25 defensemen, only outpaced by Brenden Kichton's 1.27 the year after he was drafted. While still lanky and not overly physical, Paul was adding size and more of an edge to his game than previous seasons. He was nominated to the CHL second All-Star Team. He was awarded with an ELC contract from the Atlanta Thrashers that summer.
Postma had a decent transition into pro hockey. His power play was exceptional, although his defensive play did leave some to be desired. Paul finished 1st on the team for defensive points although he was only 44th in the AHL for defensemen.
In his sophomore season, Postma again pushed his offensive production up a level. Becoming an offensive threat in both even strength and power play, Postma pushed his point totals into 13th for defensive points, three spots ahead Manitoba Moose fan favourite Mark Flood. Again, Paul was able to improve his defensive game from huge liability to adequate for the level of play. In that season he also played in the AHL All-Star game and his very first NHL game.
Postma had a strong pre-season, playing a few games for Winnipeg but eventually sent back down. He has never been one to slow down however, improving significantly with each season. Postma's third season was no different, even though the home city of St. John's was. He finished fifth in the league for defensive points and second in team the team overall. Cheveldayoff spoke of wanting to bring Postma back up near the end of the season, but decided against it due to both Jets and IceCaps going on races for the playoffs. The Jets did decide to extend Postma's services for a year, awarding the offensive minded defender with a one-way contract.
Many expected Postma to start off in the Jets lineup that season; however, the NHL and NHLPA were not able to come to terms in time and a lockout ensued. Postma produced respectable numbers on a not so respectable IceCaps. His points per a game played was second for the IceCaps by the time the lockout was over.
We've seen historically that Postma creates some impressive offense. This is especially true when it comes to the power play. Postma has always been touted for his shot being extremely hard and accurate. He has always had strong vision and talent for putting pucks through defenders.
Postma didn't see a lot of power play time, as the second unit was a rotation of Paul Postma, Olli Jokinen, Grant Clitsome, Zach Bogosian and Ron Hainsey at the point. However, he did do good in the 50-odd minutes he did have. Postma's scored about 4.37 points per 60 minutes. To compare here are the top fifteen regular PP perfomers over the last two seasons combined:
Wouldn't be too bad to end up sitting between Byfuglien and Timonen for power play production. While Postma's sample size is small, he does have a historical precedence of being an elite power play specialist. If he can maintain his success, the Jets could have 3 of the top 15 power play defensemen.
The Future of the Postman
Paul Postma has the tools to be a top end 2nd pairing defenesmen at best, and a 3rd pairing power play specialist at worst. He is already essentially a 3rd pairing defensemen, but the big question is whether or not Postma will hit his ceiling. There is a lot of promise, as Postma did dominate this season against weaker competition; however, the window of opportunity will be closing soon.
The future is murky for the young puck mover, as the Jets have 6 right handed shots in the system, all at or close to NHL ready. Dustin Byfuglien, Zach Bogosian, Zach Redmond, and Jacob Trouba are all going to be difficult players to steal ice time from.