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Season Review 2017: Andrew Copp

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Andrew Copp played in the top six for stretches this season. How did he perform?

Winnipeg Jets v New Jersey Devils Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images

Andrew Copp is an interesting player in the sense that the organization seems to think more of him than his skill dictates because he was drafted and developed by the team. There is something odd about the fact that Copp is the epitome of a fourth line player and yet the Jets feel like he should be in the top six from time to time. Copp had 17 points, including nine goals, in 64 games this year. Copp has 31 points in 142 games spanning parts of three seasons as he played one game in the 2014-2015 season. This one game counts towards an accrued season, but he has not played in enough NHL games to be considered a restricted free agent, instead becoming a Group II free agent which basically means he has to sign with the Jets.

All of this goes to say that Copp is not the type of player that is particularly important to a team. Someone like Shawn Matthias can play the same role, but do it better. Yes, Copp is younger and that is a valid point, but it is imperative that the Jets do not get married to players simply because they grew up in their system. There is very little to gain from keeping Copp in the lineup, especially if there are better players in the AHL waiting for space in the NHL.

Corsica Hockey

Copp struggled to be a play-driver unless he was with players who are independently strong at driving play. While Copp can play with better players, a player who has a career PPG of 0.22 should never see time in the top six. However, there were injury concerns for periods of time this season and the team could have seen Copp as an option to promote instead of throwing a young rookie into the line of fire. This is completely fair, but the Jets should look for better options if this is what they want to do.

Andrew Copp is a fine bottom six player for the Jets, but if they want more offence they should ensure that they can keep Copp on the fourth line with the exception of injuries. While Copp is young, he is probably not going to develop a scoring touch. Andrew Copp is not a bad player per say. He is a player who is often times moved too high in the line up and given too much responsibility based on his skills and abilities. This is not Copp’s failing, but the organization failing Copp by being unable or unwilling to have the type of depth that would allow him to play in a role that best suits his abilities.