Bryan Little is not flashy, and yet the steadiness he brings to the Winnipeg Jets is all but irreplaceable. While he is not as flashy as Patrik Laine, as skilled as Nikolaj Ehlers, or as high of a scorer as Mark Scheifele, but Bryan Little is just good and when he is not in the Jets lineup the loss is noticeable. That is the beauty of Little: good at so many little things that it takes him missing games to realize just how valuable he is to the Jets in any facet of the game.
Little’s season started off rough with him missing the first 24 games of the season with a lower body injury. That is to say he played under three minutes in the first game before leaving injured. This is after he missed a chunk of last season do to a compression fracture to his vertebrae. Little bounced back from these injuries to post 47 points in 59 games, including one point in that extremely abbreviated season opener. This is to say while he might not be the same type of point producer as a Mark Scheifele, he is still a damn good centre who helps the Jets a lot.
This is my fourth season review for players already and all but one players has suffered a steep drop in possession at the end of the season. This indicates two things: that the Jets win streak at the end of the year was smoke and mirrors and that all the injuries to defence was doing a number to the Jets as a whole when it came to having the puck. Furthermore, I do not think anything can be read into these numbers based on the fact three of the top six forwards suffered a steep drop in possession is anything to be alarmed about because it can probably be tied to which defencemen were backing them for a majority of the time.
Aside from a small dip in the middle of the season, Little showed himself to be very good at what he does. He drives play, he takes hard match-ups, he kills penalties, and he plays on the power play. He is a jack of all trades and his usefulness is on full display every time he steps on the ice for the Jets. His skillset is not always admired while he is healthy, but the Jets feel his loss whenever he is out as he takes some of the burden of being a centre off of a player like Scheifele and just stabilizes everything.
Little is not the flashiest player the Jets have nor is he the highest scorer, but his steadiness and his versatility makes him a valuable player to the team and he will hopefully remain that way for a while longer.