Since my last Winnipeg Jets training camp report, there's been a few updates, injuries, and cuts as the team lurches forward to a opening night roster that has some chomping at the bit! It's been a long summer, considering the highlights that Kyle Connor, the 1st round pick of the Winnipeg Jets in 2015, gave us during his rookie year in US college hockey last season. Then you have phenom Patrik Laine, who essentially dropped in the laps of Winnipeg Jets management last spring, as the team landed the #2 spot in this past draft. Finally, you have the on-ice success late last season of Wheeler, Scheifele and Ehlers, who's magic seemed to have been conjured by the hockey gods and spirits alike.
Winnipeg Jets fans, players and management want the season to start! However, there's the preseason for a reason, and the Jets have some decisions to make going forward. What will become of the Jacob Trouba situation? Who will step up and take Trouba's spot on the blue line? Who will be the back up goaltender to Pavelec this season? With only 12 forward spots up for grabs, who's going to solidify their spot for opening night? Rosters will need to be set on Oct 11th, but the weeding out process has already started.
On Thursday, Sept. 29th, the Jets took on their rivals to the south, as the Minnesota Wild came to town. The Jets righted the wrongs from their previous shut out contest to the Calgary Flames and put up 4 goals to beat the Wild 4-1. Goals by a debuting Connor, Ehlers, Copp and Perreault won it for the Jets, and Hellebuyck was in goal for the first win of the preseason. Mattias was still listed as week to week from his game ending injury against the Flames, and Lemiuex has been out since the Prospects tournament. Perreault left the game, and was listed as day to day.
The following night, Friday Sept. 30th, the Jets hosted the Edmonton Oilers and won 5-1. A debuting Laine was the highlight going into the game. Goals by Connor, Scheifele, Lowry, Armia, and Enstrom led the way, with Hutchinson giving up one goal to the Oiler's Klefbom. The Jets power play ticked along and was the highlight for the Jets, who struggled mightly on special teams last year.
On Saturday, Oct. 1st, the axe fell, as the Winnipeg Jets re-assigned 17 players from training camp:
Sent to the Manitoba Moose: Jake Baker, Mikhail Berdin, Axel Blomqvist, Patrice Cormier, Brandon Denham, Jiri Fronk, Jimmy Lodge, Nelson Nogier, Jamie Phillips, Peter Stoykewych, and Tyson Wilson.
Sent to their junior clubs: Jansen Harkins - Prince George (WHL), Matteo Gennaro - Calgary (WHL), Luke Green - Saint John (QMJHL), Jordy Stallard - Calgary (WHL), and Michael Spacek - Red Deer (WHL).
Defenceman Matt Murphy was released from his ATO.
As a result, the Jets had 25 forwards, 13 defencemen and four goaltenders remaining at training camp, and as the training camp and exhibition games continue, you start to see the separation of the talent.
On Sunday, Oct. 2nd, the Jets traveled to Calgary to take on the Flames at the Saddledome, and avenged their previous loss by shutting them out with a 4-0 victory. Stuart, Kosmachuck, Postma and Chairot all scored for the Jets and Pavelec tended the net for the shutout.
On Monday, Oct 3rd, the Jets took on the Ottawa Senators in a game that had it's moments, but was won by a goal resulting from a bank shot off of the Senator's goalie mask by Connor for his 3rd goal of the preseason. Ehlers (empty net), Wheeler and Scheifele rounded out the scoring to secure the win for Hutchinson. Perreault came back from his injury, but Stafford left the game and is listed as day to day
On Tuesday, Oct. 4th, with more cuts looming, the Jets postponed their on-ice sessions, but made the players available to the media. Lipon, Kichton and Howden were placed on waivers for the purpose of reassignment to the Moose. The players assigned were Eric Comrie, Kevin Czuczman, Quinton Howden, Brenden Kichton, Scott Kosmachuk, Jan Kostalek, JC Lipon, and Jack Roslovic.
Logan Stanley was returned to his junior club (Windsor, OHL).
The Jets now have 21 forwards, nine defencemen and three goaltenders remaining at training camp;
So, what do you think of the remaining players in camp? Let us know in the comment section below. Cheers!