Little Shining Despite Jets Dismal Start

There's something I've always admired about Bryan Little.

He works hard, never really speaks out, never really shines super bright.

But he always seems to work as hard as he can and never takes tons of credit.

In all, Bryan Little seems to be the humble guy who is currently leading the Jets in scoring.

Despite being in the top 50 of scoring (tied with the likes of Ryan Kesler, James Van Riemsdyk, and Milan Lucic) with 13 points in 17 games, Little has proven that he, at least, is worth the deal he signed in the off-season after he and the Jets avoided arbitration.

Little's eight goals through 17 games is a team high and he is set to score 38 goals over an 82 game season, if all continues on the path.

That would be a career high and his first 30 goal season since his sophomore season produced 31 in 2008-09 in Atlanta.

It has been a steady incline since moving to Winnipeg.  His 24 goals in 2011-12 was an indicator that he was getting back on track followed by a season where he served more as a setup man with 25 assists in 48 games in 2012-13.

As of the first month and a bit of the 2013-14 season, Bryan Little is my vote for Jets MVP.

His one weakness has come in the faceoff circle, where he is currently winning 45.0% of his faceoffs.  But he also takes the majority of the faceoffs – 360 to date, which is 100 more than second line centre Olli Jokinen, who is winning them at a clip of 43.5%.

With Mark Scheifele struggling on faceoffs at 41.2% and Slater being injured, Little is the Jets key faceoff man, despite his low numbers.

But for what number 18 brings to the table, he is producing at what he should be for his potential and his skill set. 

He was a top 15 pick in 2006.

Twice he topped 100 points in junior.

Despite being fastracked to the NHL in the Atlanta system (he played only 34 AHL games before finishing his rookie season with 48 games), Little has fared much better in his transition than the likes of Evander Kane or Zach Bogosian in the post-Atlanta system in Winnipeg.

Yes, Kane has had a 30 goal season in Winnipeg, but he is not in a role of number one centre.

For any other team, Bryan Little is a number two or three centre, depending on depth charts.

But in Winnipeg, with the arrival of Mark Scheifele and the future of Eric O'Dell amongst others, Little's job as number one, barring a signing or trade, is set and secure.

Though the Jets are last in the Central Division through November 8th, they still have one star who is shining.

Maybe he can shine bright enough to get to the All-Star Game.

Then again, I'm not counting my chicks before they hatch.