Grant Clitsome, 27, D, 5'11, 215 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: Not Ranked
This Year's Ranking: #18
Word that come up to describe Grant Clitsome are versatile, steady, and an asset in the back half of the Jets blueline corps.
Claimed on waivers midway through the 2011-12 season to the Jets, Clitsome found relief by playing for a team in the midst of a playoff run that didn't pan out – but it was better than playing for a team in the basement of the Western Conference.
Though he split time with other sixth defenseman Randy Jones, Clitsome comes into the 2012-13 season with the opportunity to be in sole possession of that final defensive depth chart spot.
His competition will be the young up-and-coming Paul Postma to be sure, but Clitsome's 105 games of NHL experience does prove worthy of a closer look as well as his cap friendly salary which was a big reason Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff brought him to Winnipeg.
In 12 games his suited up for the Jets, Clitsome had three assists and a minus three rating. He had finally made the Columbus Blue Jackets full time roster this season and had played 51 games for the Jackets with 14 points (four goals, ten assists) before the trade.
Throw in he was a -6 on a team that was the worst in goal differential at -60 and Clitsome was a bit of a steal in the waiver claim.
For Clitsome, though he is 27, his opportunity to make an impact is now and a strong camp and star of the season will be the only thing stopping him from again splitting time in the NHL or losing that spot on the blueline to the likes of Postma.