Hockey

2021-2022 Winnipeg Jets Preview

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There are a plethora of role players to go over. Eventually, see what the possible outcome of each player could be for the Winnipeg Jets this season. Some of this will be between theoretical points-based projections. The other variables will be how the player could end up playing out. A lot of this is based on key players who are mainly veteran players who are the core of the Winnipeg Jets lineup. The team swept the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the playoffs in 2021.

Winnipeg Jets Forwards

LW Kyle Connor:

Kyle Connor has been playing most of his time in Winnipeg at left wing. Connor provides a scorer’s touch and a nose for that net that put him around 60 points in an 82 game season. Connor has been one of Winnipeg’s main workhorses who has good skating and can easily make it hard for opponents. Teammates like Nikolaj Ehlers and Blake Wheeler can make it harder for most Western Conference teams to defend against the two.

C Andrew Copp:

After posting 45 points in a COVID-19 shortened season, Andrew Copp is on pace this season to go for 60 points or more. The big key for him this season is “will he and Pierre Luc-Dubois combine for 60 points and more, together with a full season” in Winnipeg. The belief in having two very strong and reliable centers down the middle can bolden the Jets this season and have guys like Adam Lowry spread out.

LW Pierre Luc-Dubois:

After being traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets, Pierre Luc-Dubois can hit a minimum of 49 points and possibly peak at 70 points. With an 82 game season, 70 will likely be his gold standard. Dubois having guys like Nikolaj Ehlers who can finesse and motor around and finish up scoring drives can make a big difference when on his line. If he has a big season, look for him to have a “come back player of the year” nomination.

C Bryan Little:

Center Bryan Little provides a 41 to 64 point range most seasons he has played with the Winnipeg Jets. He brings a physical hitting, shot-blocking type of element to a more veteran-heavy Jets team, a team that hasn’t gone deep enough in the playoffs.

What Little could be aiming for is 31 goals in a season to 41 assists type benchmark. If Little hits one or two of those categories then Winnipeg’s offense has only gotten more lethal in the Western Conference. He would be a great leader to have other than Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele who can be 60 to 70 points apiece type guys for a young Cole Perfetti in camp and being part of Winnipeg near term.

Winnipeg Jets Defense

With Nate Schmidt in Winnipeg, the Jets are looking at a shot-blocker and a heavy-hitting defenseman who knows what it’s like to be part of a winning culture. He’s the kind of guy you want to help take the pressure off of a Ville Heinola and a Sami Niku who are bright young defensemen. Neal Pionk provides that offense from the blue line that can help Connor Hellebuyck retain leads.

Connor Hellebuyck:

With an 82 game season for Connor Hellebuyck in the net, it is possible to see him eclipse the 24 win mark shattered in over 45 games played type pace. At a 52 game pace, you’re looking at 28 to 30 wins. Theoretically, you’re looking at 56 to 60 points in the standings if you’re a fan of the Winnipeg Jets. The other thought is “who will back up Hellebuyck and give him the needed rest if something negative were to occur during this pandemic under COVID19 protocols?” That remains to be answered until the puck is dropped on the Winnipeg Jets season on October 13th.

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Former writer for Pucks and Pitchforks and The Puck Authority. I cover New Jersey Devils hockey and NHL Draft prospects. I have a podcast called Heads Up Hockey on Anchor.fm