The Manitoba Moose’s Clear Day/Playoff Roster has come out and there is no Sami Niku on there. That is because he is a NHLer and according to Pascal Vincent, not expected to be back in the AHL.
The #Moose left Sami Niku off their playoff roster and head coach Pascal Vincent said today Niku is now a Jet and he’s not expecting him to be sent back.— Russ Hobson (@russ_sportsguy) March 6, 2019
This is excellent news for the Winnipeg Jets based on how Niku has been playing of late. He has been on a pair with Ben Chiarot and has looked like a NHL defencemen since getting a few reps in. The fact Niku shines when he is playing regular minutes is a great sign going forward.
The Jets are going to need cost-effective players for next season and Niku appearing to be ready for the NHL is one way that they can achieve that. For now, they need someone to fill in on defence until Dustin Byfuglien and Josh Morrissey return. Niku might remain a better decision once they come back than Tyler Myers and Dmitry Kulikov. He should definitely be playing over Joe Morrow.
The Jets have had Niku with them for most of the season and have not played him much unless they are deep with injuries. It has been a problem for the Jets and for Niku as the best way for a young player to learn is to play him lots. Either way, in Vincent’s eyes, they will not get Niku back and that means something for the Jets and their future plans.