Paul Postma had a really odd season. He played well on the third pair, was moved to the first pair when injury struck Zach Bogosian and remained a good player. The odd thing with Postma is, he has never been able to establish himself as an everyday player. While he is good when he is playing, coaches seem unwilling to give him the opportunity to establish himself as a true option with the Winnipeg Jets defence.
Postma has been followed by the Dark Cloud of Injuries, including a blood clot that had him sidelined for 47 games in the 2013-2014 season. This season Postma was scratched for a lengthly time after Christmas and managed to suffer a season-ending injury while he was out. The Jets shaky left-side could probably use Postma's skill when he is healthy though, but even then he is rarely given the chance.
Postma is a really curious player. He does not have the scoring numbers at even-strength, but he is top-four material in both CorsiFor and CorsiAgainst. This may be partially because he has played beside Enstrom, but when Postma plays beside Enstrom he does not look out of place and generally performs well. What we could be seeing is a player who is undervalued because what he does it hard to place a value on. Postma is a bigger guy, but he is not exactly known for his physical play. He is also not a point producer and it seems like he has almost no counting stats to point to his value. What makes him valuable is what the so-called advanced stats tell us about his shot prevention and his shot generation.
If we focus on his shot prevention, we can deduce that having Postma in the line-up or playing more minutes than say, Mark Stuart, may actually help the Jets goalies post lower goals-against-averages because the goalies would be facing fewer shots in general. It is hard to say for sure if Postma would help the Jets much in the long run, but it is probably worth a shot so they can see what they have in the 26 year-old former fifth round pick.
This is where things get a little sticky with Postma. He is a restricted free-agent this off-season and the Jets will have a decision to make on him. They can always simply hope he signs his Qualifying Offer and be over with it, or they could negotiate a contract with Postma that is longer than one year. The evidence suggests that Postma is a good player who could help the Jets if given a spot in the lineup instead of eating popcorn in the press box.
Postma is being blocked by some stout right-handed defenders in Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba and Tyler Myers. Instead of dealing from this position of strength, or flipping one of these right-handed shots to their off-side, the Jets have given Postma the Zach Redmond treatment. In fact, when injuries decimated the blueline, the team chose to play Jay Harrison and Adam Pardy, two lefties, together on the 3rd-pairing instead of a healthy right-handed Postma.
The Jets may have a solid and cheap option for their third-pairing right-handed defence slot here, but they need to either find room or simply just decide to give Postma a chance to prove he is an everyday NHLer.