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Winnipeg Jets To Watch At The WJC

2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic - Team Practices & Family Skates Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets will not have many prospects from the organization playingin the World Juniors this year. The Jets are set to have two players from the organization participate in this years tournament and both players will likely have a big role for their respective countries.

Ville Heinola

After a strong showing in the NHL at the beginning of the season, the Winnipeg Jets elected to send 2019 first-round pick Ville Heinola to the minors. Shortly after being sent down, Heinola returned to Finland to play in the Liiga for the remainder of the season. While he may be the Jets only prospect at the tournament he is a very important one at that. Heinola is arguably Finland’s top defender and will be crucial if Finland wants to win gold for the second consecutive tournament.

The upcoming tournament will be Heinola’s second time playing for team Finland at the U20 circuit. He made the roster last year as a draft eligible player and was an important member of Finlands blue-line helping them defeat Team USA to take home the gold medal. At last year’s tournament, Heinola recorded a goal and an assist in five games for Finland.

David Gustafsson

Sweden will have a NHL player on their roster as the Winnipeg Jets have loaded 19-year old forward David Gustafsson to team Sweden. Gustafsson will have a big role for Sweden as he is set to wear the “A” for his team. It will be his second time playing in the tournament after playing for his home country last year. He put up 3 assists in 5 games last year and more will be expected of him this year.

Gustafsson is a two-way player who will be relied upon at both ends of the ice for Sweden. He is the type of player who can be used in all types of situations and will help guide some of the teams new younger forwards. Gustafsson has played in the NHL this season scoring just 1 goal in 22 games. Although he has just 1 goal, he has only been playing 6:08 minutes on average. Gustafsson will likely be receiving top-6 minutes for Sweden and be used in a wide variety of situations. This could be exactly what he needs to bring some added experience and confidence back with him to the NHL.