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Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg Jets GM discussing prospect pool (Salomonsson, Nehring, Freij & Lambert)

Asked for an overview of the pool the GM spoke about the growth in general and these four players specifically.

In our chat with Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff on Sunday he was asked for an overall assessment of the prospect pool of Winnipeg and what they’ve got in the system.

“Excited about some of the players that we’re finally going to get to see over here.”

He began his assessment with a focus on Jets 2022 2nd rounder Elias Salomonsson who spent 2023-24 in Sweden playing for Skellefteå AIK of the Swedish Hockey League. Folks might recall he was one of the last cuts from training camp and the team mulled keeping him with the Moose before ultimately deciding to send him home.

“I think it was a great opportunity for him to go back to Sweden last year and to play obviously a big part in winning a championship.”

The right side Swedish defender will have a chance to challenge for a role with the Jets next season although he is expected to start in the AHL with the Moose.

Generally speaking he mentioned the growth year after year of players.

“That’s the exciting thing for us is seeing a player year over year over year. Whether it’s skating or whether it’s strength or whether it’s just personality, just seeing them evolve.”

Photo Credit: Colby Spence (Illegal Curve)

He then spoke about 2023 3rd rounder Zach Nehring from nearby Minot, North Dakota who is heading to college (Western Michigan University) next year after a good season in the USHL.

“A player like Zach Nehring had a great camp, a great time out there. He’s going to be going to college and now you’re going to be looking for that next step.”

He also highlighted 2024 2nd rounder Alfons Freij who was in Winnipeg for the first official Development Camp (although he was in Manitoba nine years earlier for a tournament).

“And then just seeing some of the players for the first time. Alfons Freij. You hear about his skating, you see him playing over in Europe, but when you get him in here with the group, you get excited about those opportunities in front.”

Photo Credit: Colby Spence (Illegal Curve)

The plan for Freij will be heading back to Sweden to play for IF Björklöven in the HockeyAllsvenskan which is the second best league in his home country.

And then he ended with 2022 1st rounder Brad Lambert who is at his second Development Camp.

“It says a lot about a player like Brad Lambert who doesn’t have to come here but wants to come here and be a part of it and take on that leadership role.”

It will be interesting to see what happens with Lambert for the 2024-25 season. Will he seize the role of 2C for the Jets? Will he move to the wing for Winnipeg? Or will he continue to be the top centre in the AHL with the Moose? Should be an interesting training camp in September.

You can listen to the full chat with the Jets GM from the end of Development Camp here. All of the player media avails are here.