For various reasons Tyler Myers only played 11 games this season. Myers value to the Winnipeg Jets is tied to the trade that brought him to Winnipeg: the Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian trade. He was brought in to help shore up the Jets defence and to find his Calder Trophy winning form. While he has been able to produce points, he was doing that with an inflated shooting percentage. However, since coming to Winnipeg Myers has shown he is better than the player the Buffalo Sabres traded. He is no longer on a terrible team and the results are showing in his numbers.
Instead of looking at Myers’ season when he only played in 11 games because of injury and personal reasons as his son was born prematurely and had health concerns for quite a while. Combining this with the fact that Myers’ season ended on March 22 in 2016, he has not played much hockey since March of 2016 and that should make Jets management pause and wonder, outside of the personal reasons for missing time, if Myers is a smart investment for the Jets in the long term.
If it was not for injury concerns, Myers has actually turned it around quite a bit with the Jets. You can tell he hit his lowest point when the Buffalo Sabres were at their lowest in the season they finished last overall and drafted Jack Eichel second overall. It is entirely possible that Myers merely needed to be removed from the Sabres absolute terribleness. However, the Jets are not in a place where they can afford to lose a player for long stretches of time because of injury. Unless the Jets know for certain that Myers’ hip problems are a thing of the past, can the Jets rely on him to be able to play a full season?
Much like the Jets have to decide if Tobias Enstrom is someone that they keep or trade at the end of the season, the Jets have to have a straight answer on what Myers can give them as a player for the next two seasons. They have to decide this before the expansion draft in June. It is going to be a tough decision because although Myers is not necessarily good, he is better than what the Jets have and unless they can bring in a few good players from outside or magically develop good defencemen outside of Jacob Trouba and Josh Morrissey, the Jets need Myers.
Much like Enstrom, the Jets need to know their plan with Myers and know it soon. They need to be willing to explore all options and make the decision that is best for the team in both the short and long term. They have to protect Dustin Byfuglien along with Enstrom as both players have no-movement/no-trade clauses and the Jets would be foolish to expose Trouba in the expansion draft. What will they do with Myers and how will it affect them down the road?