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The Case for Protecting Tobias Enstrom

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Even if Enstrom is not in the Jets long-term plans, the Jets should still protect him in the expansion draft.

Winnipeg Jets v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There has been unfounded speculation that Tobias Enstrom has been asked to waive his no movement clause for the upcoming expansion draft for the Vegas Golden Knights. If he is asked to waive his no-movement clause, this is a terrible move by the Winnipeg Jets when it comes to asset management for many reasons.

First of all, Enstrom can still suppress shots like a solid top-four defenceman. This is a asset to a team any team that needs to improve on defence to start next season or even throughout the season if the Jets are willing to wait before the decide to move him. Enstrom being a good defenceman when there are very few good UFAs on the market this year. It would probably benefit the Jets to go this route because teams will want a good defenceman and might even get into a bidding war over him.

Secondly, it has been strongly implied (by Kevin Cheveldayoff saying the words “Myers is still rehabbing) that Tyler Myers is not healthy yet. Would a team even want to take a player who has been injured for the better part of two years with hip injuries? It is unlikely that Myers would get picked because he is not even healthy. In fact, the Jets might not technically have a player picked in the draft if the Golden Knights decide to negotiate and sign one of the Jets pending free agents prior to the draft. This might be the perfect opportunity for them to get their hands on one shiny Paul Postma.

Thirdly, and maybe most importantly: the Jets have to figure out what their long term plan is on defence before June 18 when the lists are announced. Preferably the Jets already have their plan in place and they will start to execute it this off-season. They need to keep their good, young defencemen and figure out what to do with the aging players. The defence is good aside from the bottom pair, but for how long will that last? What is the succession plan as players get older? What is the plan with Trouba?

The Winnipeg Jets should plan on protecting Enstrom in the upcoming expansion draft even if they do not intend on him being a Jet for the entirety of next season. He is still a Jet and therefore still an asset until he isn’t.