This morning the Winnipeg Jets announced that they had claimed Brett MacLean off of waivers from Phoenix and sent Patrice Cormier down to St. John’s of the AHL.
Don’t confuse this Brett MacLean with the Brett McLean who played with the Blackhawks, Avalanche and Panthers from 2002-09.
So who is this new Brett MacLean signed by the Winnipeg Jets?
From the Jets press release:
“The native of London, ON, played the majority of last season with the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, where he compiled 50 points (23g, 27a) in 51 games played. He also appeared in 13 games with the Coyotes recording three points (2g, 1a) including his first career NHL goal on Dec. 29, 2010, vs. Los Angeles. During his final year of junior in 2007-08, MacLean led the OHL in goals with 61 for the Oshawa Generals. MacLean finished the year second in the OHL in scoring with 119 points (61g, 58a) in 61 games.”
Winnipeg Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff spoke to the media and had this to say about Brett MacLean:
“He’s someone who had a great Junior career, he was a former 2nd round pick, someone that our scouts had identified as maybe a guy who can break in to the National Hockey League, he’s only played a handful of NHL games, he’ll be given an opportunity to show himself in our organization.”
“He’s a right hand shot, left winger, can play both sides, like a goal scorer, they like to come off the off-wing. We’ll see how that plays out, it’s up to the coaching staff to decide and the player to ultimately perform.”
Both Chevy and Coach Claude Noel hope that MacLean can bring the scoring touch he showed in juniors to the NHL. He will be evaluated this weekend and may be in the lineup on Sunday.
As for Patrice Cormier, his age (21), professional experience (11 AHL games last season) and two way contract made him a candidate to be sent down for more seasoning. With St. John’s, Cormier should receive more ice time than he would in Winnipeg, continuing the process of development. When Coach Claude Noel spoke about Cormier, he said, “he’ll be back soon enough.”