Winnipeg is an interesting team because I’m not sure if they are going to be buyers or sellers. Clearly this isn’t their year but they are so close to competing that judging what they do is difficult. I think what happens is the stay pretty quiet around the deadline and then work towards making a move in the offseason. Right now they are 9 points out of the final spot in the central and 5 out of the 2nd wild card, though they would need to hurdle LAK who have two games in hand. Winnipeg sports a -15 goal differential mainly because they can’t keep the puck out of their own net. The Jets are 27th in both goals against per game and penalty kill percentage. Their offense, led by Mark Scheifele and rookie sensation Patrik Laine rank 10th in the NHL.
Winnipeg is close but just doesn’t have the depth right now. They have Scheifele who is a true #1 center to build around. They also have Patrik Laine who, along with Auston Matthews, is right in the running for the Calder. Rounding out their forward group is Blake Wheeler, the big physical captain, Nikolaj Ehlers, Bryan Little and Mattieu Perreault.
On the blue line the Jets have some talent. Dustin Byfuglien (Buf) is a big-time defenseman who throws his weight around and can really score. He only has 9 goals on the season but does have 30 assists. He logs massive minutes with almost 27:30 per game of ice time.
Jacob Trouba also patrols the blue line and has played exceptionally well after the incident at the beginning of the year (contract dispute that got settled). Trouba is someone you build around but the Jets are so heavy on the back-end they may end up dealing him.Toby Enstrom logs the third most amount of minutes and puts up okay okay numbers while playing good defense. Right now the issue with the Jets is the depth, but help is on the way. They are replenishing their prospect system and if the right deal comes along will most likely be sellers at the deadline.
In goal is a question, Hellebuyck has played the most and has put up the best numbers, unfortunately those numbers aren’t great. He spots a 2.79 GAA and a .910 sv%, are those numbers his fault of the defenses? I would say attributive to both.
If Winnipeg sells they have a lot of attractive assets. Paul Postma won’t fetch anything and he’s the only UFA on the d side. Mark Stuart has a NYC so any trade he would have to waive.
Up front Drew Stafford seems like the only asset that would fetch anything while not giving much up. He is signed for 4.35MM this year but is a UFA, he could fetch something like a 2nd round pick plus a prospect. He probably gets a deal similar to Burrows, Boyle, or Benn.
The Jet’s could also try and trade Trouba and get a young cost controlled forward, but they may wait till the end of the year to do so. They should call up the Rangers to see if there is any fit with them before the expansion draft as the Rangers are forward deep and could revitalize their defense by signing Shattenkirk and trading for Trouba(though Trouba has played so well the Rangers may not be able to afford that)