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Cheveldayoff gives update on Byfuglien, Heinola

"We're in constant communication with his agent and that's where we're at." -Cheveldayoff

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

SAN JOSE - Winnipeg Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff gave as much of an update as he could on Dustin Byfuglien, who remains away from the club on a personal leave of absence that dates back to training camp.

"Over the course of time here, he's had an ankle surgery," said Cheveldayoff. "With respect to really anything else that I can comment on, that's pretty much where it's at at this point in time. 

"We're in constant communication with his agent and that's where we're at."

That wasn't the only news Cheveldayoff had, as he announced the Jets have elected to reassign 18-year-old defenceman Ville Heinola to the Manitoba Moose.

"There are a lot of options there in that regard," said Cheveldayoff. "There is nothing etched in stone either way. Being a first-round draft pick there are things that are afforded to him that aren't afforded to other players with respect to different options."

Video: PRACTICE | Kevin Cheveldayoff

Heinola has played in eight games for the Jets this season accumulating five points - one of those being his first NHL goal at PPG Paints Arena on Oct. 8.

As injuries ravaged the Jets blue line early in the season, Heinola saw time on the power play as well.

Head coach Paul Maurice was impressed with what he saw from Heinola beginning as early as training camp.

"Just a really good capacity to learn and get better," Maurice said. "Parts of his game are really advanced - he can do some things with the puck, he can read the play well. Parts of (his game) are 18, but boy do we have a good one there."

He played in Winnipeg's first five games of the season, but has played in only three of the last eight.

"When you get a player that has talent and has abilities and you want them to develop, you want them to develop into what they're going to be, not what they can play at right now," said Cheveldayoff. "I'm sure there are some nights that he would be real high up in the line-up and there would be some nights that he would not have the opportunity to play the minutes, play on the power play, all the things that we see him being."

What the Jets see him being hasn't changed since they selected him 20th overall at the 2019 NHL Draft just a few short months ago.

"Our guys were excited when the opportunity to draft him was there," said Cheveldayoff. "Certainly coming into training camp he's played very well. We're excited for the future and certainly he's showed his poise, his hockey sense, all the things that the scouts talked about that we would like, we have."

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