We’ve got depth: A look at the updated Winnipeg Jets Team Depth Chart

Posted by Ezra Ginsburg in Roster Analysis,Winnipeg Jets on July 11, 2011 — 32 Comments

To say that the make-up of the Winnipeg Jets has changed since the Free Agency period began on July 1 would be a fairly big understatement.  Not including the re-signing of Jets Captain Andrew Ladd (who was a Restricted Free Agent and re-signed for 5 years/$22 million on July 5th), GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and Assistant GM Craig Heisinger have brought in nine new players via free agency or trade.

Firstly, let’s recap all the moves that have been made since Canada Day.  (The player’s former team is listed in parenthesis)

July 1

Jets sign UFA Defenseman Derek Meech (Detroit Red Wings) to a 1-year, two-way contract- $700,000/$105,000.

Jets sign UFA Forward Tanner Glass (Vancouver Canucks) to a 1-year contract- $750,000.

Jets sign UFA Forward Aaron Gagnon (Dallas Stars) to a 2-year contract (details not available).

July 2

Jets sign UFA Defenseman Randy Jones (Tampa Bay Lightning) to a 1-year contract- $1.15 million.

Jets sign UFA Forward Rick Rypien (Vancouver Canucks) to a 1-year contract- $700,000.

Jets sign Defenseman Mark Flood (Manitoba Moose) to a 1-year contract (details not available).

For more Jets moves and a look at the depth chart after the jump.

July 7

Jets sign UFA Left Winger Jason Gregoire (Drafted by the New York Islanders in 2007, 3rd Round, 76th overall) to a two-year, two-way deal (details not available)

July 8

Jets acquire RW Eric Fehr from the Washington Capitals in exchange for a 4th round pick in 2012 & forward Danick Paquette (Drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2008, 3rd Round, 64th overall)

July 9

Jets acquire LW Kenndal McArdle (Drafted by the Florida Panthers in 2005, 1st Round, 20th overall) from The Florida Panthers for C Angelo Esposito (Drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2007, 1st Round, 20th overall).

So we now present to you Illegal Curve’s Updated Winnipeg Jets Team Depth Chart based on where we think Winnipeg’s new players will slot in:

Left Wing Center Right Wing
Andrew Ladd Bryan Little Blake Wheeler*
Evander Kane Alex Burmistrov Nikolai Antropov
Tanner Glass Patrice Cormier Eric Fehr
Jason Gregoire Jim Slater Chris Thorburn
Carl Klingberg Rick Rypien Spencer Machacek*
Kenndal McArdle* Ben Maxwell* Aaron Gagnon
Tim Stapleton Akim Aliu
Riley Holazpfel*
Left Defense Right Defense
Dustin Byfuglien Tobias Enstrom
Johnny Oduya Zach Bogosian*
Mark Stuart Ron Hainsey
Randy Jones Derek Meech
Brett Festerling* Paul Postma
Arturs Kulda*
Andrey Zubarev
Mark Flood
Goaltenders
Ondrej Pavelec
Chris Mason
Peter Mannino
Edward Pasquale

*denotes RFA status

As you can see, Winnipeg’s Depth Chart is fairly extensive and the forward and defense lines remain far from being finalized.  Jets Head Coach Claude Noel will have most of the summer to analyze and re-analyze all the players the Jets currently have in the system so it will be interesting to see who ends up cracking the opening day roster on October 9th versus the Montreal Canadiens.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.bonnar Tim Bonnar

    I initially thought Spencer Machacek had a good chance of cracking the opening roster. Maybe not if they shuffle them like this. Moving Antropov to RW appears the make C a liability. 

  • http://twitter.com/MikeFriesen10 MikeFriesen

    Yep. Weak at center.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sean-Sebastian-Weech/1647330095 Sean Sebastian Weech

    I was under the impression that the gagnon contract was 2 years, with the last year being one way. Per capgeek.com.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.bonnar Tim Bonnar

    Depending on what kind of shape Fehr is in, Antropov might have to slide back to Center. Very curious to see the opening roster and how it moves throughout the season. Will also be interesting to see Scheifele has any chance of cracking the opening roster too.

  • Luke Miguez

    Scheifele will be playing in Barrie, I suspect even if he has a fantastic camp with the Jets.  Hawerchuk’s mentoring has him on track to becoming a great player and that relationship in the OHL shouldn’t be abandoned.

  • Anonymous

    and that is why IC (*) their names

  • http://twitter.com/KennyBank Kenny Bank

    Looking at that lineup, it all looks like a liability (for this season) while the young guns gel and grow.  People need to temper hope with heavy doses of reality.  Will be a good team in a few years.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504326040 Mike Florence

    Centre has been the weakness from the beginning. Maybe they’ll give Vinnie Prospal (NYR) a chance. He’s still not signed and while not a top line player would certainly add depth at centre.

  • Anonymous

    Not a bad line up going into training camp, but the team needs a legit #1 centre. it’s been said over and over, but going into the season with Little, Antropov and Burmistrov as the top 3 isn’t going to cut it. the FA market wont bring in a top C, but maybe a trade can be worked out. hockeybuzz.com had a decent article on their depth at C. maybe a guy like Vermette would fit nicely. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m thinking Jones climbs into that third pairing on D; I doubt the FA gave him 1.15 mil with the expectation of his being an extra defensemen.

  • Luke Miguez

    I wouldn’t put Slater behind Cormier, who really, really needs AHL time.  Don’t mistaken him playing on Atlanta’s third line last season as evidence that he’s ready for the NHL, he isn’t.  Also he projects as a left-winger and played there in his Atlanta games.  If Slater is put on the fourth line, it would be a result of him gelling very well into that fourth line role along with Thorburn.  Them along with Eric Boulton made up one of the better fourth lines in the NHL.  Gagnon is also a centre, not a right winger.  

    Players also missing from the depth chart are LW Fredrik Pettersson, who put up 32 points in his first AHL campaign, he should be at the bottom of the list.  Chris Carrozzi who played goal for Gwinnett (Atlanta’s ECHL affiliate) last season.  D Ben Chiarot, D Cody Sol, LW Andrew Kozek, D Zach Redmond and C Eric O’Dell are also under contract and can potentially be included on the depth chart. 

    Andrei Zubarev has apparently used an out-clause in his contract to make a move to Atlant Moscow Oblast of the KHL.  While Winnipeg retains his NHL rights, he shouldn’t be included on the depth chart.

  • http://twitter.com/ICrichyp Richard Pollock

    Slater’s face-off work is an important aspect of that fourth line.  Thorburn’s contract makes him stick around. The signees will play a significant fourth line role. Don’t agree that this was a better fourth line in the NHL. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.bonnar Tim Bonnar

    Ideally Burm is a number 1 center with a little more seasoning. No need to add anything big if he is going to develop into that guy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.bonnar Tim Bonnar

    Agreed, but in the short term I think Antropov could arguably have more value at Center.  If he is flexible in where he will play it opens a few new options for the coaching staff.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.bonnar Tim Bonnar

    They weren’t starred when he posted it…

  • Luke Miguez

    Atlanta fans would completely disagree on that front regarding the fourth line last year.  Boulton, Slater and Thorburn had excellent chemistry last season.

    None of our signings save Fehr and maybe Gregoire can play above fourth line roles, though.

  • http://twitter.com/ICrichyp Richard Pollock

    That line was not any good. Chemistry does not always lead to productivity and Boulton is not coming to Winnipeg anyways. 

    I foresee many of the signings, especially guys like Glass and Rypien, playing above those guys on many nights.

  • Anonymous

    that’s a big if. I’d like to see them add someone for 2-3 seasons so he can develop into that #1 centre you mentioned. 

  • Anonymous

    my apologies 

  • Luke Miguez

    I’m not really sure what you mean why ‘productivity’ in this case.  I’m aware that Boulton isn’t around, but either way this line:

    Glass/Rypien – Slater – Thorburn

    Is almost certainly going to be our ideal fourth line for most of the season.

  • Anonymous

    Looks that way. I really think Chevvy has a plan to make a move that includes Bogosian for a top 6 forward (preferably a C)

  • http://twitter.com/ICrichyp Richard Pollock

    What I meant was that none of those players contributed anything significantly above replacement level production.  I am not so sure that will be the fourth line. But it is possible.  Either way, it is nothing to write home about.

  • http://twitter.com/ICrichyp Richard Pollock

    I would really be surprised by that.  

  • Luke Miguez

    Chevy has already said that this team will be building around Bogosian.  How do you say that and then proceed to trade him away?

  • Luke Miguez

    I’m hoping that Burmistrov puts up some decent offensive production this year to add to his already impressive defensive abilities.  Saying that with a ‘little’ seasoning he’ll be our No. 1 is optimistic, though.  Bryan Little may not be a major point producer, but he’s a better offensive player than Burmi in the bear future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.bonnar Tim Bonnar

    Yeah. I don’t expect to see him get there right away. A couple years should tell us where he will end up. He was drafted to be a number one center though.

  • http://twitter.com/dansudfeld Dan Sudfeld

    Thx for the vindication, Tim. I thought I was losing my mind there for a second.

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  • Luke Miguez

    A note regarding Pettersson, he has broken his contract with the Winnipeg Jets to sign a four-year deal with Frolunda of the Elitserien.  Don’t expect to see him back in North America any time soon, especially as a Jet.

    A shame, especially since he could have competed for a spot this year for the big club.

  • Anonymous

    You trade him when a GM offers you a deal you cannot refuse. The Jets are deep at “D” right now and even though Bogosian is slated to be a stud dman for years to come, he may be more useful as the main piece in a huge trade that brings the Jets their Centre.

  • Luke Miguez

    If the right deal came along then sure, but Chevy was pretty adamant that we were going to give Bogosian a solid shot here in Winnipeg.  I imagine that he was front and centre about that point because more than a few NHL GMs were calling him up about whether Bogo would be available.

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