Connect with us

Winnipeg Jets

Five years ago today the NHL was officially returned to Winnipeg

Five years ago today it all became official.

Where does the time go?

It seems like it was only yesterday that Deputy Commissioner of the NHL Bill Daly was on the Illegal Curve Hockey Show discussing the Atlanta Thrashers when most local fans had the Phoenix Coyotes (at that time) in their sights.  Turns out that interview was held on November 10th, 2015.  Less than seven months later (five years ago today) NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was at the MTS Centre making the official announcement that the NHL would be moving back to Winnipeg.

Of course this meant that fans flooded the major meeting spots in the city like Portage and Main as well as the Forks.

Return of the Jets

Even before it was official fans were focused on a potential team name with most only wanting one name….


Less than a month later fans journeyed less than seven hours south of the city to take part in the first official NHL Entry Draft which was held in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 24th and 25th.

Tap & Jets fans at XCel

Jets fans met the first ever selection by the re-incarnated Winnipeg Jets (team name was announced by co-owner Mark Chipman) when he introduced GM Kevin Cheveldayoff to make the pick.  In case you are feeling nostalgic you can hear the sounds from that draft as covered by us.

A look at the last five years of 1st overall draft picks by Winnipeg:

2011:  Mark Scheifele (7th)
2012:  Jacob Trouba (9th)
2013:  Josh Morrissey (13th)
2014:  Nikolaj Ehlers (9th)
2015:  Kyle Connor (17th) &  Jack Roslovic (25th)
2016:  ____________ (2nd) & ___________ (22nd).

There is plenty of optimism within the fan base following the first five seasons.  While they have seen just one whiteout during that time there are expectations (bolstered by the second overall selection this season) as well as an incoming of new talent (Connor Hellebuyck for one) that this team is ready to make some noise in a very tough Central Division in the coming years.

What are you thoughts five years since the NHL was officially returned to Winnipeg?  What are your expectations for the next five years?  As always feel free to share…