The Winnipeg Jets are about to finish training camp and start the 2013-14 NHL Season. As of this writing, the Jets are just about at their 23-man roster for opening night.
With that in mind, there’s just cause to check out the status of the team as they go into opening night.
Now by and large, the Winnipeg Jets didn’t do much that was surprising when it came to their roster selections. We knew guys like Eddie Pasquale were going to be headed to St. John’s because of contracts, or others like Nic Petan just weren’t quite ready for prime time (though he’s incredibly close).
The two biggest surprises so far, though, are around two would-be rookies – Patrice Cormier and Adam Lowry. Again, as of this writing Cormier is still alive on the roster, though he really shouldn’t be.
Through the five games he played in, Patrice Cormier has one goal on four shots and a plus-1 rating. Lowry missed a significant portion of the pre-season with an upper body injury, but looked impressive against the Edmonton Oilers and turned heads during the Young Stars games.
Now I’m not saying that Lowry is the greatest thing to happen to the Winnipeg Jets since the original incarnation welcomed Teemu Selanne, but he’s a lot better than the 23-year-old Cormier, who like Adam Lowry is on a two-way contract. I’m actually expecting the Winnipeg Jets to switch the two a couple times eatly in the season between the River City and The Rock, but Lowry should be given the rookie tryout time first.
With that said, there’s also a bit of a question mark on Mark Scheifele in my mind, albeit he’s in a more stable spot, having performed extremely well. I don’t expect him to be cut going into NHL regular season play, but he might go up and down as well.
The only rookie that seems destined for a full NHL season at this point is Jacob Trouba. Trouba has three assists in six NHL preseason games, and haws looked mature beyond his years. He should be a lock to not only make the team, but gain a top six spot with the squad. That means that someone like Paul Postma will see more limited time while last year’s wunderkid-before-injury, Zach Redomond, may start off the year in the AHL.
So looking at the Winnipeg Jets’ overall picture, you’ve got two, maybe three Calder candidates going into the 2013-14 NHL season, with Trouba or Scheifele looking strongest. There’s still some nervous days ahead as the final cuts are made, but this may be the best season for Winnipeg Jets rookies since the days of the 1992-93 quad of players – Teemu Selanne, Alexei Zhamnov, Evgeny Davydov and Keith Tkachuk. There’s no question – youth is here in Winnipeg and they’re ready to impress the Jets faithgul