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Jets Pre-Season Wrap: Six Things That Stand Out Ahead of 2022-23 Campaign

Jets Pre-Season Wrap: Six Things That Stand Out Ahead of 2022-23 Campaign

CALGARY — Now that the dress rehearsals have come to a close, it's time to sort through what Rick Bowness and his staff have learned about this edition of the Winnipeg Jets and what the final roster decisions will be.

Friday's 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames left the Jets with a 4-1-2 record after six pre-season games, but what history has taught us is that those results won't play much of a role when the curtain actually raises next Friday at Canada Life Centre with a game against the New York Rangers.

That's not to say nothing that transpired over the past two weeks and change didn't matter, quite the contrary actually.

The work done between games is equally important, but those dress rehearsals revealed plenty of things when it comes to roster construction and how prepared this group is to execute the aggressive systems that are now being implemented. "We have a great team here. We can do it. We keep improving," said Bowness. "We believe in ourselves and it's going to be a fun year."

After all the talk about the importance of accountability and the need for veterans to lead the way, there's no question that the Jets' Top Gun have played their best hockey over the last two games as their lineup has improved.

He scored two goals before retiring with a lower body injury as a precaution Pierre his rucksack his Dubois, ripping a one-timer Mark he shorthanded Scheifel (No, it's not a misprint). ) or Nikolaj Ehlers scores a bench shot from below the goal line, and the attack is led by those expected to drive the bus this season.

"Yeah, probably wasn't the prettiest of us. I was a little sloppy and I got away with second place a bit, but I took my chances and it was great," said Scheifele. I think we are all happy to end the camp with a win."

The Jets will spend the next four days in Banff for a team building experience that includes three drills.

Here are some thoughts on what made him stand out in training camp.

defense is still messed up

The blue line has been under scrutiny since training camp began, but the truth is that the competition could resume next week with four training sessions.

With Dylan Samberg and Logan Stanley watching patiently from the sidelines, Bill Heinola got one last chance to speed up the game on Friday with his third pairing alongside Nate Schmidt.

It was a relatively quiet night for Heinora. It doesn't necessarily have to be bad. This is because he made several mistakes on the ice during the training camp and fell into the net.

When Heinola scored his third goal for the Flames from Nazem Kadri on the ice, he finished with a shot, making a 15-for-24 shift.

30 pieces including 51 seconds of power play. Heinola was part of a second unit with three D-Men during the third period power play, and for teams looking to launch the Blue Liner regularly, he has the skills to contribute in that area. increase.

After his six preseason games, it's still too early to tell which blueliner will win his battle for sixth place, and Bowness didn't want to show his hand on Friday.

"We're going to have to sort this out in the next few days," Bowness said. "They are mobile and ... we have to make some tough decisions. No questions asked."

Jets defenseman Dylan DeMelo was asked to rate what he's seen of players on the blue line so far. "Maybe how deep we are. We might not be in the opening game, but we have a lot of players who can contribute," he said, starting the season with two assists and Josh Morrissey at the helm. "Competition is a good thing, internal competition is a good thing. Even at the top, we have a lot of players playing hard and doing a lot of good things. For our team, we're developing quickly." I am thrilled that there are people out there who can help the team. The number of D-men in camp dropped from one to nine on Friday afternoon when Jonny Kovacevic was waived.

Kovacevic, 25, may be interested in this waiver, but one thing to keep in mind is the three-year deal he signed this offseason (the AHL's sizable salary for the first two seasons). -- $150,000 and $250,000 -- and one-way last campaign deals) can act as a deterrent or incentive for teams to make claims.

It can be seen as a cost certainty or a big commitment, so it just depends on the perspective of the team concerned.

Speaking of waver wire

The Jets have yet to make a decision regarding the job of the 13th forward, but it will be interesting to see if the organization shows interest in Matthias Janmark.

Bowness has known Jean Mark since his Stars days, and while he hasn't done much offensively, in his league he's played 420 of his NHL games (3 his season). A conscientious and versatile forward, including double-digit goal generation in .

Jan Mark, 29, signed his one-year contract worth $1.25 million with the Oilers during the offseason, but on Friday he was waived to be assigned to the AHL's Bakersfield and the Condors.

Other Deep his forwards that might spark interest include Jordan He Martinook of the Carolina Hurricanes and Andreas Johnson of the New Jersey His Devils.

Johnson has his $3.4 million left in one season, while Martinook has two years left on his contract, averaging his $1.8 million a year. pack mentality

It was the second time in a game that Jets forward Cole Parfetti was badly beaten by a Flames forward.

This time it was Dillon Duve who seemed to catch Perfetti by numbers, leading to a brawl.

"Of course, I love our answer. I talked to the players after the game. You run to one of us or run to all of us." We're going to get rid of those penalties,” said Bowness. we are family If they chase one of us, they chase us all. It's as easy as that. ”

The Jets don't have a designated tough guy, but they don't back down either.

"The committee has to do that. Obviously some people are better at managing themselves than others," DeMello said. No need to beat. As long as you are there in numbers and involved. It's a long way.

Brad Lambert's future is just around the corner

The 30th overall pick in his 2022 NHL Draft, he made an impression in his camp in his first training with the big club, despite missing about a week with a minor injury.

In his three games of pre-season, the Finnish winger has shown glimpses of his huge potential, demonstrating skills that will undoubtedly carry over thanks to his remarkable speed and finishing ability. Of course, there's the urge to move forward quickly to give Lambert another flavor and see if he can make an offensive move right away.

But here's the problem. There was absolutely no need to turn this into an Alex Burmistrov situation.

Friday's decision to include Lambert in the cut was the right one. This is meant to give Lambert a chance at long-term success, not try to determine if he can score a few points in the first month of a long NHL season.

Lambert's current best place is in the American Hockey League. With top six minutes and plenty of time on the ice, he continues to excel offensively and be able to tackle the game away from the pack (something almost all young players need).

"He's obviously going to play in the league at some point. He needs a little more experience," said Bowness. "There's a lot to learn at 18. He's tremendous speed, tremendous skill. we've seen it all. Now, like any young player, he needs to learn how to play without the puck and at a faster pace against the pros.We are very happy with his camp. he is very happy ”

As for those worried about his transitional language, you don't have to. The reason Lambert was fired for Moose instead of being reassigned was because he hadn't signed an entry-level contract yet, but it should be done sometime this week.

The backup position seems to be stable

After Eric Comrie signed a multi-year contract with the Buffalo Sabers, the game of musical chairs desperately left the Jets to fill the spot as goaltender Carousel rotated rapidly on the opening day of a freehand.

Ultimately, the Jets decided that David Ricci was the best option to play behind mainstay Conor Hellebuick.

While needing to stay sharp, Litich has done a solid job in his three preseason games, allowing only one goal in the last five of his periods. , positional, and some athletic saves are properly mixed.

Ricci has not been asked to participate in job sharing, but if he is called up with his 20-22 start (or whatever the final numbers are), it will give the team a chance to win like Comrie. is needed. last season.

To get the point across, a reliable backup is a must for the Jets. Richie has a strong desire to start a catch-up season, and early signs suggest it's more than a distant possibility.

As for Hellebuik, he was busy making his 35 saves on Friday, his 27 of them in his first two periods.

Gagner take care

He may have waited longer than he hoped to sign his latest free agency deal, but veteran forward Sam Gagner appears to be making a seamless transition.

Indeed, he only appeared in two pre-season slants as the coaching staff turned their attention to young players competing for jobs, but Gagner started the campaign on the fourth row alongside David Gustafsson. and serve more than just mentoring.

During Wednesday's game, Gagner topped his power play in his unit (instead of DuBois) and produced two of his assists, including Nikolai's stunning cross-ice his feed to Ehlers. Gagner hopes to get a shot in the second unit early in the regular season and can move up the lineup if needed, but it's important to strengthen his offensive bottom 6 over last season. We provide responsible interactive play, including