Do you ever watch a player and think: that is poetry on ice? That is Nikolaj Ehlers at his best. He can look like the best winger in the now defunct Canadian Division. He can also sometimes look like he is trying to do too much when he tries to put the team on his back. This does not make him a bad or even limited player as few players can consistently step up and take over games.
Ehlers biggest strength with the Winnipeg Jets is the fact that he is excellent at controlled entries and exits. Ehlers loves to carry the puck to the benefit of the Jets. Just because he isn’t perfect does not mean he does not actively make the Jets better. And while he has produced fewer points at even strength than either Mark Scheifele or Blake Wheeler, but he is better at possessing the puck aka doing things that lead to the team scoring and defending.
Outside of Ehlers knack with the puck, he does contribute on the scoreboard. Sadly, he once again missed time with injury, but as a key player on the Jets and without looking at any data, that probably leads to him being targeted by his opponents. If you know a team struggles to move the puck without a certain player, wouldn’t you target the player?
Ehlers place with the Jets is seemingly secure. He seems to like it here and there have been no indications he is going to be traded this off-season. He will likely be back to carry the torch for the Jets no matter the changes to the forward group and that is good news for the team. Now, if he will remain with the Jets if they enter a rebuild remains to be seen, but until then we can all watch Nikolaj beat Canada at the World Hockey Championships.