Winnipeg Jets: Getting Ready to Take Off Into Training Camp

Over the past couple of seasons, the Winnipeg Jets have developed an identity and winning culture. Even though they don’t have a Stanley Cup Title to show for it yet, Winnipeg hopes to win it one day.

They were in the Western Conference Finals against the Vegas Golden Knights two years ago. Vegas beat them in five games.

Last postseason, the Jets were bounced in the first-round against the St. Louis Blues in six games. St. Louis eventually went on and won the Stanley Cup Title.

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Winnipeg has drafted well over the years and they have also made some solid signings in free agency as well. The Winnipeg Jets have also made some trades, including a trade that sent defenseman Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers for defenseman Neal Pionk.

It appeared as if Trouba needed a change of scenery. This could be a very good trade for both teams in the long run.

Paul Maurice has been the head of coach of this team ever since 2014. He has been to the playoffs three times. Maurice has done a tremendous job of coaching these players up to this point.

He will have his team most likely in the playoff mix once again. In fact, the Central Division is one of the toughest divisions in the NHL. Winnipeg could finish anywhere this season from the top seed in the Central Division to the second wild card team. I would find it hard to believe that they could be on the outside looking in.

The projected lines for this upcoming season for the Jets will be Kyle ConnorMark ScheifeleBlake Wheeler, Nikolaj EhlersBryan LittlePatrik Laine, Mathieu PerreaultJack RoslovicKristian Vesalainen, and Andrew CoppAdam LowryMason Appleton.

The projected defensive pairings will be Josh Morrissey and Dustin Byfuglien, Dmitry Kulikov and Sami Niku, and Tucker Poolman and Neal Pionk.

Connor Hellebuyck will be the starting goalie. Laurent Brossoit will be the backup goalie. Hellebuyck had a down year last year after having a tremendous 2017-2018 season. Brossoit was actually a solid backup last season.

As of right now, Patrik Laine is a restricted free agent and he does not have a new contract. Laine is 21 years old and he was the second overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. Patrik Laine had a down year last season with 32 goals and 20 assists, in 82 games. His plus/minus was -24.

It will be interesting to see if he is still with Winnipeg by the start of the season or if he will be traded to another team. They could get a boatload for him. The Jets have cap space issues. I am sure Laine wants $10-$11 million per season, but Winnipeg may not give it to him.

Players are receiving bigger contracts these days.

Nathan Beaulieu and Anthony Bitetto will be some key backups to keep on eye if someone gets hurt.

Some of the prospects that could make noise in training camp could be goaltender Eric Comrie and forward Seth Griffith.

Mark Letestu could be a key backup player on this team as well.

The Jets have yet to make an announcement on A training camp date. Winnipeg’s first preseason game will be on the road on Monday, September 16 against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Jets first game of the regular season will be on the road against the New York Rangers on Thursday, October 3. Winnipeg’s home opener will be on Thursday, October 10 against the Minnesota Wild.

How do you feel about the 2019 Winnipeg Jets? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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