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Where are they now? The 2014-2015 Jets

Playoffs?! You betcha!

Ottawa Senators v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images

The Year of the Playoffs.

The Year of Ondrej Pavelec.

The Year of the Kane Trade.

All of these could be used as a description, but I’ll simply call it what it was: the 2014-2015 Winnipeg Jets season.

Since moving from Atlanta, the team has made the playoffs only once, and this was the year it happened, as the Jets came in 5th in the Central and in the second wild card spot to set up a brief but memorable series against the Anaheim Ducks.

This was also the year that the Evander Kane situation came to a head. Now, I know we will continue to debate who won that trade, but that’s not the point of this story. That’ll be another 10 blog posts or so.

No, today we merely talk about the Jet that left the team during or after the season, and Zach Bogosian and Evander Kane did just that on February 11, 2015. They were traded to the Buffalo Sabres. Coming back the other way were Drew Stafford, Tyler Myers, Joel Armia, Brendan Lemieux and what would become the 25th overall pick in that summer’s draft (Jack Roslovic). Jason Kasdorf also went to the Buffalo organization. The Jets picked up rental players in Jiri Tlusty, Lee Stempniak and Jay Harrison, and rode the stellar play of Ondrej Pavelec down the stretch to get into the playoffs, where they were swept. But hey...playoffs!

Thirty-five players skated for the Jets in 2013-2014, with eleven leaving the organization after the season. Others, like Jay Harrison, have not played in the NHL since. This article highlights who they are, how much (or little) they contributed in their time in Winnipeg, and where they are now.

From most games played that season to least:

Colorado Avalanche v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images

#67 Michael Frolik, RW Born February 17, 1988

GP 82 G 19 A 23 P 42 PIM 18 +4

There were quite a few folks that were unhappy when Michael Frolik left the Jets after the 2014-2015 season. His solid two-way play was a big reason why the Jets were able to make the playoffs, but he left via free agency on a five year contract with the Flames worth 4.3 million per year. As the 29-year-old continues to put up similar numbers in Cow Town, one can see why people might be miffed. But I will remind people: it takes two to sign a contract. And we were not privy to exactly how negotiations went.

Frolik remains with the Flames, with five points on the year as of press time.

#44 Zach Bogosian, D Born July 15, 1990

GP 41 G 3 A 10 P 13 PIM 40 +1

Zach Bogosian was one of the key pieces of the trade with Buffalo. Some folks compare him directly with Tylers Myers and use the remainder of the assets to compare with Kane. To each their own.

Bogosian was a solid defender for the Jets, though his shot accuracy left something to be desired in the offensive zone. His health has also been somewhat of a concern, as injuries continue to play a toll on his availability. Now in his third full season in Buffalo, Bogosian has yet to play a game as he deals with a lower body injury.

#21 TJ Galiardi, LW Born March 24, 1990

GP 38 G 1 A 0 P 1 PIM 2 -8

I barely remember TJ Galiardi playing with the Jets at all, to be completely honest. He scored a goal against the Leafs. Since leaving the Jets, he has played in Sweden and most recently the KHL. He had six assists in 11 games for the Riga Dynamo this year before terminating his contract in late September, in a somewhat curious move for a guy who has a shot at making the U.S. men’s Olympic team.

Winnipeg Jets v Pittsburgh Penguins

#9 Evander Kane, LW Born August 2, 1991

GP 37 G 10 A 12 P 22 PIM 56 -1

There is no debating whether or not Evander Kane is a talented player. He is certainly capable of being a dominant force on the left wing on any given night. However, Evander Kane’s time in Winnipeg did not come to an end because of on ice performance, but rather off-ice distractions that eventually reached a point where the Jets decided enough was enough. Part of the reason I am reluctant to say who “won” this trade, is because it was a trade that had to happen. Kane’s time in a Jets uniform had come to a close, and now it was up to Kevin Cheveldayoff to see what he could get for him. The haul was alright, not fantastic, but alright. Stafford and Myers helped the team make the playoffs that very season, and Jack Roslovic is still an X-Factor in the AHL. Brendan Lemieux also recently made his NHL debut.

Kane still has his scoring touch, though his tendency to get hurt has kept him under the 30 goal mark since joining the Sabres. He is off to a hot start this season, with six goals and 11 points in 10 games as he benefits from the coming of age of one Jack Eichel.

#24 Grant Clitsome, D Born April 14, 1985

GP 37 G 10 A 12 P 22 PIM 56 -1

One of Kevin Cheveldayoff’s many early waiver pickups, Grant Clitsome’s hockey career came to an unofficial end on January 3rd, 2015, as a back injury would force him to miss the remainder of the season, and the 2015-2016 season as well before he officially retired on June 1, 2016.

Clitsome was a solid, depth, left handed defender for the Jets. When the team had him, Toby Enstrom, Ron Hainsey and Mark Stuart, it was the last time before the emergence of Josh Morrissey that the left hand side of the D Corps was alright.

Out of all the people I have checked up on to this point, Clitsome is the most private, which is fine by me. His twitter bio reads “Cider maker, Sommelier, Queen's MBA candidate, Clarkson alum, retired NHL player.”

Gone but not forgotten:

The Kladno Boys

#91 Jiri Tlusty, 20 games: Acquired from Carolina near the trade deadline, Tlusty rounded out a trio of players that grew up together and were later reunited in the NHL, as he, Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Frolik played together as boys in Kladno, Czech Republic.

Tlusty played for the Devils after leaving the Jets, then spent last year with Karpat of the Finnish league. He is currently without a contract.

#20 Lee Stempniak, 18 games: Acquired from the Rangers in exchange for Carl Klingberg, Stempniak is one of the eight players to score a goal for the Jets in the playoffs. He has since played for New Jersey, Boston and since 2016-2017 for Carolina.

#58 Eric O’Dell, 11 games: O’Dell has 196 points in 247 AHL games, but that only translated into him playing 41 games and getting eight points with the Jets.

O’Dell has spent his last two seasons in the KHL with Sochi.

#48 Carl Klingberg, 2 games: As mentioned, Klingberg was traded in exchange for Stempniak. A 2nd round pick in 2009, Klingberg never lived up to his draft position, playing a total of 12 games with 1 goal to show for it. He has spent the last two seasons with Zug EV in the Swiss-A league.

#7 Keaton Ellerby, 1 game: Ellerby played 51 games with the Jets in 2013-2014, but just one (in which he picked up an assist) in 2014-2015. Ellerby has bounced from country to country since leaving, spending a year in each of Kazahkstan (KHL’s Astana Barys), Switzerland (Fribourg-Gotteron HC of the Swiss-A league), Finland (Lukko Rauma of SM-liiga) and now plays in Sweden with Mora IK.

#49 Julien Brouillette, 1 game: Okay, I faintly remembering this occurring. According to the record books, Julien Brouillette played 9:33 for the Winnipeg Jets in a game against the San Jose Sharks on January 5, 2015. The Jets lost 3-2.

It was Brouillette’s only NHL game, and he too has bounced around since leaving. He played in Sweden, then with the (RIP) St. John’s IceCaps and now plays for Salzburg EC in Austria.

So there you have it. The playoff year. Feel free to reminisce in the comments.