Scouting the Division: Winnipeg Jets

Today we put a bow on our preseason series looking around the Central Division at the Blackhawks’ opponents for the coming season. We’ve taken time to discuss the Coyotes, Avs, Stars, Preds, Blues and Wild. Now, let’s head to Winnipeg to complete the division.

  • Expansion Draft: Mason Appleton
  • Key Losses: Jordie Benn, Derek Forbort, Tucker Poolman
  • Key Additions: Nate Schmidt, Brendan Dillon, Riley Nash
  • 2021-22 Cap Space: $0
    (per CapFriendly)


The Jets losses aren’t huge, and they did a nice job of replacing those who departed. Benn was a nice defenseman but they upgraded his position. Appleton posted a career-high 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists) in 56 games last season. Forbert got a multi-year deal from the Bruins as well.


Schmidt replacing Benn is a nice pickup. Dillon will also help strengthen their back end. And Nash is a decent add. The list of additions was limited because the Jets are already using LTIR space heading into the 2021-22 season, meaning the departures may not be done. We’ll see what they’re able to bring back if/when they make any more moves.

What Does It Mean?

The Jets are a solid team if they can stay healthy. That’s the big IF, and a suspension hurt them in the playoffs last year. Their defensive group is better with the additions of Schmidt and Dillon. Scoring depth will be something to watch for the Jets this season.

43 thoughts on “Scouting the Division: Winnipeg Jets

  • September 7, 2021 at 8:23 am

    Just a quick note.

    I am a life-long Hawks fan who has lived in Minneapolis the last several years. The other day I was listening to the local sports station (KFAN) and they were interviewing veteran NHL coach Bruce Boudreau. He was evaluating the Wild’s Central Division opponents and said that Division teams should not sleep on the Blackhawks

    He went over the players he really liked on the Hawks and mentioned Pius Suter. Obviously, he did not get the memo that Suter was signed by the Red Wings. What this confirms for me is that not re-signing Suter was Bowman’s biggest blunder of the offseason.

  • September 7, 2021 at 8:53 am

    Loved the scouting reports on all the teams in the division. With those in mind I can now give my prediction on how the Hawks will finish: 5th in the division. The empty seats in the stadium will determine if the coaching staff/StanBo will stay or go. If its still full, the organization will be content to just let this play out(“We’re still in a rebuilding mode actually!!”) and if more people stay home and save their money then somebody will be forced to dump this regime and finally get a hockey guy in here to straighten this out. The handwriting is on the wall: they have a cap guru now(if only Tallon had one back in the day).

  • September 7, 2021 at 9:18 am

    Reggie- tells u how “in touch ” Bruce B is

    2nd- The team I wouldn’t sleep on is Wild- solid drafting last few years- will payoff soon.

  • September 7, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Ya like Hammertime, thanks for the nice scouting reports on the Central division. My predictions for the Central go’s like this.

    Hawks, Wild, Pred’s fight it out for this slot

    Questions that remain for the Hawks. Can JC coach this team into the PO’s. Do they have enough grit from the fowards? Will Capt. Serious be able to last the season and if so at what level? Has Kane plateaued as a player? Will Dach/Jones live up to expectations? Can Fluery withstand 35-40 shots a night? That’s a lot of “if’s”

  • September 7, 2021 at 11:44 am

    After COL I see WPG MIN DAL STL and CHI all in the mix for the playoffs – probably 5 teams from Central will qualify and it’ll be dog fight all year amongst those teams IMO with DAL maybe able to separate itself from the others

    NSH and ARZ at the bottom

    Heath as always will play a factor

  • September 7, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    I had a higher ceiling for Pius Suter than most on this board. I think he has a chance to be an impact player offensively, and NOT a liability defensively. Still young enough to learn, and he should now be fully adapted to North American life – even in our current Covid situation.

    He may have priced himself off the team too.

    I still don’t like the Fleury signing, but admit it is an upgrade for today. The question is how we deal with the TDL and thereafter regarding Fleury. Did we make a handshake deal to not move him, or move only to where he wants to go? Will he re-sign, and at a friendly price? Will he get injured and become a non-factor? Yes, that can happen to any player – I get it. But that’s a lot of eggs in one basket for this season.

    I like the defensive upgrades and those alone should be a huge factor. My money is on Kalynuk to stand out this year. We need 2 young Dmen to grow up this season and we need to develop what appears to be a easier to identify group of centers, and their roles.

    I call us a bubble team. Injuries will determine in or out of the playoffs. Perhaps a chicken call by me.

  • September 7, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    Jets in a win now window and need to compete ths year or their in trouble.

  • September 8, 2021 at 8:09 am

    Got good offense and got that helluva-bucko in goal – it’s the d-corps I’m not sold on.

  • September 8, 2021 at 8:22 am

    A friendly trade that will get both cap compliant. Us normally them with LTIR. Copp and a pick for Strome and Shaw’s $$.

  • September 8, 2021 at 10:34 am

    Silent Spot- agreed on Suter- kinda surprised Hawk’s didn’t make more of an effort to keep him.

    Kahun- surprised did not Stick in NHL, Lot worse out there- Hawks must not like his advanced metrics.

  • September 8, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    Not surprised about Kahun – he didn’t do anything really well – average at most things – and wasn’t big or especially fast

    He worked hard but not enough there IMO

    I liked Suter too but I’d rather be rid of Seabrook’s contract and have Johnson (who is still better than Suter) than spend the $ on Suter and still have Seabs’ contract on the books

    If you have both Suter and Johnson along with Kane and DCat it’s too many small Fws in your top 9 IMO

    I’m ok with letting Suter go because of the Johnson move

  • September 8, 2021 at 6:35 pm

    Toews and Dach are 2 Huge question marks to the Hawks success this year…
    Everything else will shake out ok…. We shall see…
    Go Hawks !!!!!

  • September 8, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Winnipeg and Chicago have no chance at winning the cup this year….None
    Fans on this site will be doing fist pumps and high fives if the Hawks make the playoffs.

    Both teams will be mediocre for years to come.

    Winnipeg’s defenseman are absolutely terrible.

  • September 9, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Stape- Kinda agree on Hawks SC chances
    I think they are improved- and will be entertaining/competitive most nites.

    Could be really good- IF
    Reichel- shows well
    Towes- is 80% of the old 19
    Dach – progresses in a meaningful way

    BUT- will still be difficult to even win 1 series in PO’s

    SB- really needs to pull a “Hossa” out of his *&^
    to make Hawks a legit chance to win a few rounds in PO’s

  • September 9, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    BLUTO In my opinion the goal should be to try to build a Stanley Cup contender and hopefully get lucky and win the cup.

    Hopefully they don’t rush Reichel to the NHL like the did with Boqvist and Dach.

    I personally don’t see star potential in Dach …he didn’t dominate scoring wise in junior and I don’t believe he will all of a sudden become a scorer at the NHL level.
    Potentially good NHL player…yes Star player…I don’t see it.

    I believe Chicago and Winnipeg are probably a good comparison. Both will be fighting for for a playoff spot with zero chance of winning the cup.
    Does anyone on this site believe Winnipeg will go far in the playoffs if they do make the playoffs? I dont.

  • September 9, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    I have said before it’s not how this team looks in October but how they looks in April and how much progression is or is not made. I know optimism gets ripped on this board but i’m very hopeful for this team, still lots of questions need answered, however that is part of the process. Hossa and Toews became superstars without being Art Ross candidates and i believe Dach can bring enough offense with alot more to his game too. Time will tell i guess how good he becomes. That along with other youth plus some key adds will shape the future( MAF place holder not long termer). I am looking forward to this season and some playoff hockey again is fine by me.

  • September 9, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    Agree Ian – Hawks can’t go from pretenders to contenders in one year – making the playoffs is the next step then winning a series would be the second step and so on

    I’m hopeful as well that this team can at least accomplish the first step this year and maybe the second as well

    Lots of wild cards with this team though – Nylander Strome Borgstrom Toews to name four but the biggest wild card after Toews IMO is JC – can he coach a competitive roster to success? – we’re about to find out in the next several months

  • September 9, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Ian you are a complete homer.

    “Jets in a win now window and need to complete this year or their in trouble.”
    Tell us all what is so different between Chicago and Winnipeg.

    Wheeler is aging and in decline. Toews is aging and in decline
    Both teams will have a few good players and both teams have no where near the talant needed to go deep in the playoffs.

    Fleury the placeholder.
    Toews the placeholder.
    DeHaan the placeholder.
    Hawks have one of the worst prospect pools in the NHL with no first round pick next year. Only diehard Hawks fans believe Chicago will become relevant anytime soon.

    Yes I know that it is possible the Hawks could retain next year’s first round pick.
    Longshot at best.

  • September 9, 2021 at 5:22 pm

    Hawks made the playoffs two years ago and beat Edmonton in the first round.
    Would that qualify for steps 1 as well as step 2 for the diehards?
    There are no trophies for participation in the NHL.

  • September 9, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    Many words are subjectively interpreted, if not out right misinterpreted or misapplied. The word “homer” is such a word – it can connote different meanings to different people in different contexts. In my interpretation, if the word homer is applied to a broadcaster of a home team, it has a non-objective negative connotation, whereas if it is applied to a fan of a team it has a more positive connotation implying a diehard passion for the team.

    I’m a Hawks homer and proud to be so.

  • September 9, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    Hellebuyck is in his prime, Wheeler and Stastny are 35, average age of their nhl roster is not all that young. In a year or 2 they will be ready to reset with Perfetti, Lucius and Heinola. Seems to me they are trying to get what they can from this bunch and Hellebuyck should be still in his prime when next group arrive for Jets. Really don’t see any comparison with Blackhawks at all, especially on the Blueline right now, where Jets are lacking any real talent and Blackhawks bolstered their blueline considerably. Plus Commesso is future in goal not Fleury. Very few of Blackhawks forwards have any amount of playoff experience, whereas Jets forwards have plenty of playoff experience, about as night and day as it gets to me.

  • September 10, 2021 at 1:43 pm

    The Hawks made the playoffs in 2020 (although only through a play-in vs EDM) and lost in the first round to VGK so no that doesn’t really count as either step 1 or 2

    CHI wouldn’t have made the playoffs if not for the pandemic caused play-in round that increased possible playoff teams to 12 – they weren’t one of the top 8 teams in the West that year

    If they make the playoffs this year that will be legit and will be step 1

  • September 10, 2021 at 2:34 pm

    Yeah, the weird 2019/20 “bubble” playoffs was fun for the Hawks to beat EDM but it meant getting the 17 pick (Reichel) instead of the 9th (Rossi – MIN) or 10th (Perfetti – MIN). We’ll see who has the better NHL career between Rossi/Perfetti/Reichel.

  • September 10, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    EB it was pretty well known that Bowman wanted Askarov if he picked 9th or 10th, so his progression is better gauge of what that playoff appearance changed in prospects in the system.

  • September 10, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    Ian – probably true but I’m always skeptical when the word on the street is a GM wanted this or that player in the draft. I think sometimes it’s more subterfuge than fact.

  • September 10, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    EB if i remember right the organization themselves indicated they tried to trade up and draft Askarov, then went to Commesso as plan B.

  • September 10, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    In hindsight did beating Edmonton do anything positive for the Hawks?

    I am waiting for the diehards to tell us all how the Hawks playoff experience against Edmonton made the young players so much better.
    I’m still waiting….

    How about watching all of the players drafted between 9 and 16 in the Reichel draft year as Bowman would have been able to pick any of them.
    Including picking Reichel with pick 9.
    There will always be at least one diehard trying to tell us that picking earlier doesn’t matter and then trying to make a case for their logic.

  • September 10, 2021 at 10:37 pm

    same can be said about playing Keith over 20 minutes/game last year at the expense of playing rookies more to gain NHL (speed) experience… How much better are the Hawks or how well did they preform under this plan?

  • September 11, 2021 at 8:19 am

    Stape – so I’ll assume you are not a diehard

  • September 11, 2021 at 8:39 am

    8 or 9 more players would been on the board earlier before Reichel pick had they picked 9th or so but only 1 would have been taken. Askarov was who they indicated they targeted so others really aren’t in the coulda been pucture. If Commesso becomes a solid no.1 goalie for them and Reichel continues to show promise at Nhl which is far from a given yet, it would be hard to say they paid a big price unless Askarov becomes the next generational type goalie to come into the league. Nobody can say for sure until those questions are answered if the playoff bubble experience was good for them or too costly for them.

  • September 11, 2021 at 9:23 am

    And, it really doesn’t matter because it happened beyond the Hawks ability to do something different short of intentionally losing which should never be the mission for a team. So, you accept what happened and look for and often find silver linings. I don’t see taking that position as exclusive to diehard fans, it seems like a reasonable and logical response available to any and all fans.

  • September 11, 2021 at 9:34 am

    Specific to the point of whether or not the Hawks playing in the bubble playoffs had any intrinsic value redounds to the question of whether or not playoff experience has any value over and above the experience of playing regular season games, especially for young players who haven’t experienced playoff hockey. If you believe playoff hockey is no different than regular season hockey, then taking the position that the Hawks gained nothing from playing in the bubble playoffs is a reasonable position to hold. If, on the other hand, you believe playoff hockey provides a different experience than regular season hockey, then believing the Hawks (playoff inexperienced) players gained something of value is not necessarily quantifiable but is certainly of value.

  • September 11, 2021 at 10:45 am

    I have never been a fan of chasing Goalies

    imo- I think the Hawks went from very weak pool/prospects of goalies- to a very strong/young/deep pool. The Soderblom/BU kid/ Lanks/Subban/Cale Morris

    Ironically- they have chased/drafted many D men – and so far haven’t had much to show for it. I do like K-nuk and Vlassic, the Kaiser kid. And am still very hopeful on Mitchel/Beaudin- BUT also saw some Holes in their games

    Best case scenario- is Hawks get to skate 3-4 Goalies (due to Minor injuries) – and They ALL play well – making 1-2 of them tradeable assets at TDL

  • September 11, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    Wrap I have been a Hawks fan for 50 years and I don’t pretend the Hawks are a good team because they are not. I also believe their farm system is terrible and as long as Stan Bowman is with the team the Hawks will remain irrelevant.

    I will call a spade a spade. Instead of going all in to make the playoffs Bowman should have kept his assets and forget about Seth Jones and his huge mega year contract. Bowman has many non Blackhawks fans scratching their heads wondering what in the world is he doing.

    A total rebuild should have been done.

    Being mediocre should be an easy build for Bowman. Building a powerhouse team….well forget about it.

  • September 11, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    Stape – I’ve been a Hawks fan for 60 years and I’m a diehard

    Call yourself whatever you want but don’t play the longevity card

    By your own admission you are not a diehard

  • September 12, 2021 at 9:56 am

    Wrap. I realized after many years that being a diehard was a waste of time.
    If you are a diehard you follow the drafts and follow the teams prospects and obviously roster players as well.
    Bowman trades pretty much every first round pick that he makes. I heavily followed Teravainen, Schmaltz, Boqvist as well as other draft picks. I am now finished being a diehard because it a waste of time.

    “I let you know that I am a long time Hawks fan.”

    Playing the longevity card is laughable. Look at your 60 years of so called longevity.
    You absolutely prove longevity means jacks__t.

    Anyone with any common sense should be able to realize Stan Bowman has no real plan except for trying to save his job. Good thing for Stan is he can fool many diehard Hawks fans into believing this will be the year…We just need that number one defenseman….we just need to add veteran presense…we really need that experienced goalie. For the last four years since the 4-0 playoff series blowout to Nashville what the hawks really needed to do was “REBUILD”. Adding bandaids to the aging core has proved to not be much of a plan.
    Do Hawks fans realize once the hawks become a middle of the pack team it’s going to be really difficult to rise to the top? With very little talent in the system and a GM who dosent seem to care about keeping draft picks. Mediocrity could be upon us for many years.

  • September 12, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Stape – I get that you’re angry but keep your personal insults to yourself

    As for longevity you brought up your 50 years of being a Hawks fan not me

    I’m happy not to engage with you because my ‘jacks__t’ knowledge and lack of common sense don’t rise to your levels of acceptance – talk about a waste of time

  • September 12, 2021 at 11:12 am

    I am a diehard fan of the Hawks. The word “fan” is short for fanatical. Definition of the word “fanatical” is: “filled with excessive and single-minded zeal” or “obsessively concerned with something”. Is it likely obsessive zeal is driven by common sense?

    I employ common sense in every other area of my life as best I can. My brief periodic escapes from that daily responsibility is my fanatical obsession I have for the Hawks. I don’t only not need to employ common sense with every jot and tittle of the goings on with the Hawks – I don’t want to. Others can if they choose but for me I get enjoyment from being a Hawks fan in the truest sense of the meaning.

  • September 12, 2021 at 11:23 am

    One thing that I am sure of is that a complete rebuild is a guarantee of nothing. In fact tearing everything down likely insures you are many years away from fielding a competitive team. In today’s cap world even with good young talent you have a small window for success and then cap pressures will cause changes. Total rebuilds have done nothing for the Oilers, Sabres and Leafs. I like the route the Hawks have taken this summer. Maybe I have drank too much koolaid but isn’t that what diehard fans do?

  • September 12, 2021 at 11:42 am

    By the way, is it common sensical to continue to be a fan of a team when all you see is doom and gloom with no hope for a better situation on the horizon? Asking for a friend.

  • September 14, 2021 at 1:27 am

    WOW! Love the facelift Tab. Really looks nice and classy. Well done.

  • September 14, 2021 at 8:14 am

    Love the white text on black Tab!

  • September 14, 2021 at 11:56 am

    Tab- Now that’s how you do a complete rebuild –

    You should give SB some help

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