Jets All Out Top 25 2013-14: #11-#1

 

#11 Grant Clitsome, 28, D, 5'11, 215 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: 18
This Year's Ranking: 11
Difference: +7
 
The Jets savvy waiver claim from the 2011-12 season, Grant Clitsome has a newly signed three-year contract based on two half seasons in Winnipeg.
 
Too soon?
 
Three points in 12 games in 2011-12 and 16 points in 44 games last season doesn't really mean that the Jets needed to re-sign #24 with the defensive depth they had, but they signed Clitsome to a contract that maxes out at $2.3 in the final two seasons.
 
For the Jets, they hope he continues to show strong defensive (he's +7 over the last two seasons).
 
#10 Matt Halischuk, 25, RW, 6'0, 185 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: (w/ Nashville Predators)
This Year's Ranking: 10
Difference: 0
 
A great move to sign the young Matt Halischuk was one of the more savvy moves by GM Kevin Cheveldayoff this off-season.
 
The former Predator and Devil has seen more of a role as a grinder and will see that role continue in Winnipeg Jet blue.
 
A former fourth round pick, Halischuk is most well known for scoring the overtime winning goal in the 2008 World Junior Championships.
 
In 157 career NHL games, Halischuk has 25 goals and 29 assists.
 
#9 Devin Setoguchi, 26, RW, 6'0, 200 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: (w/ Minnesota Wild)
This Year's Ranking: 9
Difference: 0
 
The biggest acquisition this off-season, former 31 goal scorer Devin Setoguchi looks to rebound into that form he was in 2008-09 in San Jose.
 
Setoguchi has scored 20 and 22 goals in seasons since but has never really been consistent of a scorer to be as much of a threat since his San Jose days.
 
With 19 and 13 goal seasons in two years in Minnesota, Setoguchi's 53 games of playoff experience helps the Jets if they were to get to the post-season.
 
A good addition for the Jets and an opportunity for Setoguchi to become a top six player or even top three player in the NHL again.
 
#8 Toby Enstrom, 28, D, 5'10, 180 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: 8
This Year's Ranking: 8
Difference: 0
 
Toby Enstrom may become the goat for the Jets defense with the departure of Ron Hainsey.
 
At -8 last season with 15 points in 22 games, Enstrom has shown a lack of ability to play in his own end and it threatens to get worse in the much more physical Western Conference.
 
At 5'10, Enstrom is by far the smallest blueliner on the Jets which has begged the question why the Jets – with their plan of putting together a large team – re-signed Enstrom to a five-year deal with $5.75 million per.
 
Enstrom's offensive capabilities are the upside of a perhaps weak and inconsistent defensive game which needs to improve if the Jets are to have a defense that can work both ends of the ice.
 
#7 Bryan Little, 25, C, 5'11, 185 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: 7
This Year's Ranking: 7
Difference: 0
 
Bryan Little is the one Jet you never hear many people griping about.  Why?  Because he puts a great effort every night consistently.
 
With 32 points in 48 games last season, Little seems to be rebounding into 2008-09 form when he scored 31 goals as a sophomore.
 
Even though Little may not be a first line centre on any other NHL team (which is debatable at times), he is one of the Jets that works hard despite his size.
 
Little's new contract – five-years maxing out at $5 million for the final two seasons – is fair for a first line centre and he is hoping to make those dollars work.
 
#6 Zach Bogosian, 23, D, 6'3, 215 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: 6
This Year's Ranking: 6
Difference: 0
 
Coming off a brand new seven year contract, Zach Bogosian is looking to become worthy of being selected 3rd in 2008.
 
After two par seasons in Winnipeg, he signed a big time contract that is maybe more of a move to get him signed than to give him what he is truly worth.
 
With 14 points in 33 games – including a -5 rating, Bogosian has never shown extreme offensive flair and has always seemed to be tagged for a penalty when he tries to be defensively sound and aggressive.
 
For Bogosian, 2013-14 provides the opportunity to show he is worth the contract or he will become a big bust.
 
#5 Dustin Byfuglien, 28, D, 6'5, 265 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: 2
This Year's Ranking: 5
Difference: -3
 
Dustin Byfuglien has been the biggest mirage in the Jets lineup since his arrival in Winnipeg.
 
Explosive, competitive, and feisty at times – docile, inconsistent, and lazy at other times.
 
With three years left on a contract that will ultimately pay Byfuglien six million two seasons from now, this season may prove if Byfuglien is worth keeping or worth dealing.
 
With 53 points in 2011-12 and 28 points in 43 games last year, Byfuglien has been the monicker of Jet fans joys and gripes, all on a regular basis.
 
The team's mantra and mojo seems to start and end with #33 and this season won't be any different.
 
#4 Evander Kane, 22, LW, 6'2, 195 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: 5
This Year's Ranking: 4
Difference: +1
 
If the Jets could clone any player on their roster, it would be Evander Kane.
 
This year's fourth best Jet has lots to prove and wants to prove he is the Jets go-to guy.  With a 30 goal season under his belt in Winnipeg in 2011-12, he struggled for consistency at times in 2012-13, but managed to finish second in goals with 17 and post 33 points in 48 games.  
 
It has been a slight rise in stardom for Kane and he will look to the 2013-14 season to rise even higher.  His six-year contract is probably the best contract the Jets have inked any of their core to because at the height of his contract, his cap hit is only $6 million.
 
For a future 30-40 goal scorer, that's peanuts.
 
For Evander Kane, the sky is the limit and we could see above the clouds this season.
 
#3 Ondrej Pavelec, 26, G, 6'3, 220 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: 1
This Year's Ranking: 3
Difference: -2
 
The Jets live and die with Ondrej Pavelec as their netminder.
 
In 2012-13, their playoff hopes died with their netminder's awful 2.80 goals against average and sub-par .905 save percentage.  
 
With a five-year deal on paper, the Jets chances for playoff contention are slim if these numbers don't improve and drastically.
 
Sure Pavelec started the most games of any netminder, but he was also one of the most inconsistent starters and could go streaky at any time for any amount of games.
 
For the Jets to make any noise in the West, Pavelec has to be better than he has ever been – but with his best goals against average in his entire hockey career being 2.51 in the QMJHL, the likelihood of a Jets playoff birth is slim.
 
#2 Andrew Ladd, 27, LW, 6'3, 205 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: 4
This Year's Ranking: 2
Difference: +2
 
If it weren't for Ladd's towering linemate, the captain would have finished in first this year.  
 
Ladd led the Jets in scoring and also was in the top 20 in NHL scoring with his best season thus far in his career – 46 points in 48 games.  Translated over an 82 game schedule and Ladd would have been an 80 point scorer.  That's more like it for one of the top picks in 2004.
 
For the captain this season, his timely scoring is once again needed as is his leadership and overall grit.  His timely play in 2012-13 was good, but can be better.
 
For if the Jets are going to have a shot at the playoffs, they need their captain to be even better than the previous season.
 
#1 Blake Wheeler, 27, RW, 6'5, 205 lbs
Last Year's Ranking: 3
This Year's Ranking: 1
Difference: +2
 
Fair to say that Blake Wheeler's 2012-13 season made him a player many think can spring him into being an elite NHL player.  With 41 points in 48 games – including a team high 19 goals – Wheeler made himself a force on the Jets most nights.
 
After the shortened season, Wheeler's 41 points were good enough to be 30th in the league in scoring tied with the likes of Thomas Vanek.  
 
His consistency is the biggest issue coming into the 2013-14 season.  Can he bring that A-game night in and night out?  Or will he succumb to the pressure of having to be a go-to guy in Winnipeg?
 
Can he become an consistently elite or impactful player along with those chosen in 2004 NHL Draft alongside Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Mike Green, Dave Bolland, and Cory Schneider?
 
The Jets need this year's number one rated player to be their difference maker with size, skill, speed, and heart in 2013-14.

 

Quantcast