Skip to main content
Team Reset

Jets counting on internal options to replace Stastny

Roslovic, Little among those who could see time at second-line center

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, NHL.com is taking a look at where each team stands. Today, the Winnipeg Jets:

Paul Stastny wasn't with the Winnipeg Jets for long, but losing the free agent center reopened an important role in their top six forwards.

Jack Roslovic, 21, and veteran Bryan Little, 30, appear to be the best options to fill the second-line center position after Stastny signed a three-year contract with the Vegas Golden Knights on July 1.

 

[RELATED: Complete Team Reset coverage]

 

Little centered Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine before Stastny was acquired in a trade from the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 26. Roslovic, a first-round pick (No. 25) in the 2015 NHL Draft, was recalled from Manitoba of the American Hockey League on Jan. 19 and remained with the Jets for the rest of the season because of their 285 man-games lost to injury.

After trading for Stastny, Winnipeg went 15-4-1 to finish second in the NHL behind the Nashville Predators but lost the Western Conference Final to Vegas in five games.

Here is what the Jets look like today:

 

Key arrival

Laurent Brossoit, G: The 25-year-old agreed to a one-year, $650,000 contract July 1 to back up Connor Hellebuyck. Brossoit made 10 starts for the Edmonton Oilers last season (3-7-1, 3.24 goals-against average, .883 save percentage in 14 games) before he was sent to Bakersfield of the American Hockey League, where he was 15-10-1 with a 2.68 GAA and .912 save percentage.

 

Key departures

Paul Stastny, C: The 32-year-old had 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 19 regular-season games and 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Jets. ... Toby Enstrom, D: The 33-year-old unrestricted free agent likely won't be re-signed. He has 308 points (54 goals, 254 assists) in 719 NHL games with the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers. … Matt Hendricks, C: He agreed to a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Minnesota Wild on July 1. The 37-year-old had 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 60 games last season. … Joel Armia, F: He was traded to the Montreal Canadiens on June 30 after he had 29 points (12 goals, 17 assists) in 79 games last season. The 25-year-old agreed to a one-year, $1.85 million contract with Montreal on July 13. … Steve Mason, G: The 30-year-old was traded with Armia to the Canadiens, who bought out his contract ($2.7 million over the next two seasons) on July 1. Mason was 5-6-1 with a 3.24 GAA and .906 save percentage and is an unrestricted free agent.

Video: Analyzing the Jets' offseason moves, free agents

 

On the cusp

Kristian Vesalainen, LW: The No. 24 pick of the 2017 NHL Draft had 43 points (22 goals, 21 assists) in 49 games for HPK Hameenlinna and Karpat in Liiga, Finland's top league, and helped Karpat win the league championship with eight points (four goals, four assists) in 18 postseason games. Vesalainen, 19, said at development camp in June he was hoping to sign an NHL contract during the offseason. If he does, he'll get a look during training camp. ... Eric Comrie, G:  Selected in the second round (No. 59) of the 2013 NHL Draft, Comrie was 1-1-0 with a 4.05 GAA and .897 save percentage in three games with the Jets last season. The 23-year-old was 18-13-3 with a 2.58 GAA, .916 save percentage and two shutouts in 34 games with Manitoba and could play in the NHL if there is an injury. … Brendan Lemieux, F: The 22-year-old had one goal in nine games with the Jets last season and could be one of the first call-ups of the season. Acquired in the trade that sent forward Evander Kane to the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 11, 2015, Lemieux had 43 points (19 goals, 24 assists) in 51 games with Manitoba last season. 

 

What they still need

The Jets could look for an upgrade at backup goalie if Brossoit isn't the answer and Comrie isn't ready.

 

Fantasy focus

With five picks among the top 30 in NHL.com's first 2018-19 mock draft, the Jets could be the most valuable team in fantasy this season. Laine was the first off the board (sixth) even with the departure of Stastny. Next was forward Blake Wheeler (12th), who had a NHL career-high 91 points (23 goals, 68 assists) in 81 games. Hellebuyck was the first goalie selected (13th) and gains added value because the Jets are tied for the fewest back-to-backs in the NHL with 10. Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien was selected in the second round (23rd) and center Mark Scheifele was selected 29th. Each of the five should return value on their draft position based on team security. -- Rob Reese

Video: WPG@NSH, Gm7: Scheifele nets one-timer past Saros

 

Projected lineup

Kyle Connor -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Jack Roslovic -- Patrik Laine

Kristian Vesalainen -- Bryan Little -- Mathieu Perreault

Andrew Copp -- Adam Lowry -- Brandon Tanev 

Josh Morrissey -- Jacob Trouba

Dmitry Kulikov -- Dustin Byfuglien

Ben Chiarot -- Tyler Myers

Connor Hellebuyck

Laurent Brossoit

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.