Hey guys! Sven here and we have reached our last team for 31 in 31. Thank you to those of you that were along for the journey! I will be back next week with some buy/sell type articles, but for now enjoy my analysis of the Winnipeg Jets!
Over the past month, I have taken a look at each team’s players to watch out for going into the 2018-19 fantasy hockey season: The 31 in 31 daily segment. This analysis features everything from surefire studs, to sleepers, to prospects that may make an appearance at some point this season. Please let me know if you guys enjoy this type of material! Reminder that the stat totals are from last season.
Blake Wheeler – 81GP 23-68-91. The big-bodied playmaking captain is poised for another big season in the ‘Peg. He has been a consensus first-rounder in most fantasy leagues.
Patrik Laine – 82GP 44-26-70. I expect this third-year sniper to flirt with 50 rips this season, and tear it up on the power play. Late second, early third round has been the usual spot where Laine is scooped up.
Mark Scheifele – 60GP 23-37-60. One of the most horribly ranked players by ESPN, a healthy Scheifele makes Winnipeg even scarier than they were last season. If he plays 82 games, I have no doubt he will put up 75-80 points.
Kyle Connor – 76GP 31-26-57. No chance for a Sophomore Slump here. Connor proved himself big time last season and has earned his #1LW role. I expect him to marginally surpass his first full season total of 57 points, making him a solid pick in the early teen rounds.
Nikolaj Ehlers – 82GP 29-31-60. Just about everyone in this Jets top-six will see at least 45-50 points this year. Though it dips a bit after Ehlers, he will be good for 60-65 if the #2PP unit sees some production.
Jack Roslovic – 31GP 5-9-14. Top-six minutes will bode well for Roslovic heading into his first full NHL season. I’m not too sure what to expect of the Sophomore, but he should be able to quietly produce some secondary scoring for the Jets.
Dustin Byfuglien – 69GP 8-37-45. Byfuglien is a stud in most fantasy categories. I have every reason to believe that he will get back to double-digit goals and continue to pick up assists from the point. He is a strong #1D pick, especially in hits/PIM leagues.
Jacob Trouba – 55GP 3-21-24. Trouba had an uncharacteristically quiet season last year, but staying healthy for 82 games will bode well for him. Regardless, Trouba is a late D pick at best.
Josh Morrissey – 81GP 7-19-26. Morrissey looked very good in his second NHL season, and the points will only come with another season in this potent offence. I think he has more upside than Trouba, however only time will tell what he’s able to do.
Tyler Myers – 82GP 6-30-36. Myers quietly produced last season and we saw glimpses of the offensive upside he possessed in his first couple of years in the league with the Sabres. It doesn’t appear that Myers will get a ton of ice-time given how evenly spread-out this Jets D corps is, but he is a solid depth pick.
Connor Hellebuyck – 67GP 2.36GAA 924SV%. I’m not sure if I’m a believer that Hellebuyck is an elite goaltender just yet, but I have a similar take on him as I do on Martin Jones: with a team like that in front of you, if you play solid you will win a lot of games. I’m not sure if I would take him in the top three (as he is going in the leagues I am in), however I’m sure he will prove me wrong and have another terrific season.
Kristian Vesalainen – Liiga: 44GP 19-20-39. Vesalainen is a big-bodied winger that looks to have all the tools to pan out into a dominant NHL power forward. Drafted in the first round of 2017, Vesalainen slides into this Jets’ middle-six and will likely have a respectable rookie season in that slot. I’m not going to predict any more than 40 or so points, but hopefully he will benefit from playing with the excellent players around him.
Nicolas Petan – AHL: 52GP 15-37-52. Starting this season on the shelf, Petan looked all but ready to make a full-time return to the NHL after a PPG performance in the AHL last season. He will re-join the Jets’ lineup very soon and look to pick up where he left off last season. I’m not expecting any more than middle-six ice time, but he should be able to chip in offensively.
Mason Appleton – AHL: 76GP 22-44-66. One year removed from the NCAA and a solid rookie season with Manitoba (AHL) under his belt, the next step for Appleton is to challenge for a spot in this Jets lineup. With good size and impressive playmaking ability, he may just find his way there next season.
Skyler McKenzie – WHL: 72GP 47-40-87. After an impressive major-junior career with Portland (WHL), the 2017 seventh-rounder will transition to the AHL this season. Though undersized, he has already appeared to have panned out nicely for a seventh-rounder and will likely take a big production hit in his first Pro season like most young players do.
Logan Stanley – OHL: 61GP 15-27-42. Here I was thinking Tyler Myers was already with the Jets! Stanley is a towering defenceman that the Jets took in the first round of 2016, and will transition to Manitoba (AHL) from major-junior this season. He is a lock-down player defensively, but also showed some offensive upside last season with Kitchener (OHL).
Sami Niku – AHL: 76GP 16-38-54. A 2015 seventh-round pick, Niku lit up the AHL last season after making the jump from the Finnish leagues. It would be nice to see him repeat this sort of production, and even see some NHL time this season! He was brought up for one game and scored in it last season, and the 22-year-old is patiently waiting for another shot.