Winnipeg Jets Grades: Defence/Goaltending
The following content has been paraphrased from Saturday’s Illegal Curve Hockey Show, where we graded the 2013 performance of individual Winnipeg Jets’ players. Download the podcast here or subscribe to the Illegal Curve Hockey Show on iTunes.
The grades are in the context of our expectations for that particular player.
Games Played – Goals –Assists – Points
Toby Enstrom (B)
Five more years
22 GP – 4 G – 11 A – 15 P
Richard: I thought he was solid when he played, but not great. Offensively he flourished at the beginning of the year leading the defensemen in points early on. The reason he gets a B is because his defensive game is lacking. I don’t think he has played well enough as a defender to merit anything above a B.
Ezra: Players with his offensive ability don’t grow on trees, but struggles defensively.
Dustin Byfuglien (C)
Three more years
45 GP – 8 G – 20 A – 28 P
Richard: I have high expectations for Dustin Byfuglien and I think he let his weight get away from him. Everything he does on the offensive side, he gives it back on the defensive side. That was consistent throughout the year. He’s capable of more, the talent and natural ability are there but lacks the focus to play defensively.
Ezra (B): He didn’t produce as many points as last season and his defensive play really struggled toward the end of the season. Byfuglien is a highly skilled player who needs to show more commitment to the team.
Ron Hainsey (B)
47 GP – 0 G – 13 A – 13 P
Richard: He played a majority of the season with Bogosian, some of the credit of Bogosian’s year has to go to his partner Ron Hainsey. Does he score? No. But in reality he’s not asked to score. Some decision making isn’t the strongest and he’s not the most physical. He played more minutes than they wanted to and filled a role.
Ezra – He lead the league in blocked shots, played a shutdown role and is more offensive minded than the type of defensemen he is.
Zach Bogosian (A)
33 GP -5 G – 9 A – 14 P
Richard: He really took some steps forward this year, plays big minutes in all situations. He’s a horse; he likes to pressure, likes to drop the gloves and took more of a leadership role. His offensive game took some steps forward in terms of getting involved in the play.
Ezra: Took a step forward, is part of the long term future of the Winnipeg Jets. He has great skating ability, got more physical this year.
Grant Clitosme (B+)
Richard: He exceeded my expectations, produced offensively. Played in all situations. He seemed to flourish near the end. There were some defensive deficiencies. His issues are size and sometimes he turns the puck over. He can skate and has a good shot. He is a useful player and it will be interesting to see the contract he signs for next season.
Ezra: Stepped up and played increased minutes this season. He’s not the biggest guy but is strong. Sometimes makes costly turnovers in the defensive zone. Is better suited as a third pairing guy.
Mark Stuart (B)
One more year
Richard: He is what he is. He’s a third pairing defensemen. He played with everyone on the team. You want him to play a physical style and be a leader. Wasn’t his best defensive year. What you got from him is what you expected. No complaints here.
Ezra: He only had four points, you’d like to see more, but he was +5 and was among league leaders in hits. Has limited offensive ability but makes the smart decision with the puck in his own zone.
Paul Postma (C+)
Richard: I would have liked to see more offensively, there was some opportunity with the injuries. His strength is his offensive play. He certainly made some problems defensively and turning over the puck. Settled down as the season went on. He is what he is, will top out as a bottom pairing.
Ezra: He’s a good skater but isn’t physical. Makes mistakes in his own end. Could have provided a bit more offensively.
Zach Redmond (B)
Richard: My expectations for him were higher than Postma based on what we had heard from the IceCaps organization. He didn’t blow me away but was solid. He does have a few drawbacks, but was a nice surprise for the Jets in terms of defensive depth.
Ezra (A+) – The future is bright for him. He played 19 minutes per game in all situations.
Derek Meech (B)
Richard: Nothing wrong with his game and stepped in when needed.
Ezra: Provided a stabilizing presence, plays a simple, effective game.
Ondrej Pavelec (B)
Four more years
Richard: I think he’s a starter but not an exceptional NHL goaltender. He’s probably around the 20th ranked goalie in the league right now. Put him behind better defensemen and his numbers may be higher. He was solid this year and deserves a B.
Ezra (A) – He faced the 2nd most shots in the NHL to Ryan Miller. Said in his exit interviews that he has to improve his conditioning. He proved that he has the mental toughness to be a number one goalie. Had a better year than last year and wants to get better.
Al Montoya (B)
Richard: He started five games. He hardly played and was solid when he did play. Hard to make a definitive decision.
Ezra (A) – His numbers aren’t overwhelming, but when he did play he was very well.