Like most NHL teams, the Winnipeg Jets have some soft spots on their depth charts at various positions. Going through all three positions we can look at where the Jets might run into trouble, especially if players do not sign before the start of the regular season. Even though the season starts soon, players could be signed at any moment and this entire article could be worthless in two hours.
The wings are where the Jets will hurt the most without Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine. The two forwards have mostly played at left wing and competed for a spot on the first line with Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele. Without them, the Jets are down two of their best wingers and things could be difficult for them going forward. Without Connor and Laine, Nikolaj Ehlers and Wheeler will be leaned more than ever and the Jets might have to throw someone like Mason Appleton into the fire and have him start the season in the NHL if they want to compete.
The good news is they also have players like Mathieu Perreault who is often forgotten about, but managed through last season without an injury. That’s the issue though: injuries always happen and the Jets are very vulnerable at wing right now. Hopefully Kristian Vesalainen is also ready to step in this year because the Jets will need him up front. If they can get through the time until Connor and Laine are signed, they will be better off.
The Jets have the aforementioned Scheifele as their first line centre and then probably Bryan Little will slot in on their second line. After that it is crickets. They have been trading for second line centres for the past couple of years, but that has cost them futures and it is possible that the team they put out on the ice this season will not be one that is likely to go deep in the playoffs. The Jets could always try someone line Andrew Copp at second line centre and then move Little to the third line and Adam Lowry holds down the fourth line or Lowry and Copp could switch places. Either way, even with all their centres, the Jets are in a weird place.
The Winnipeg Jets have a really good collection of forwards, but might struggle with two of them not on the team because they have no contract and other players being slotted into the wrong spot on the depth chart for their skills. It could lead to an interesting season up front for the Jets.