Saturday, January 30, 2021

All-Time Teams: Jets

Our last NHL All-Time Team is the second franchise to originate in Atlanta and the second named the Winnipeg Jets. Here's the Winnipeg Jets all-time roster:

Winnipeg has made five trips to the postseason in their 20-year history. The Jets advanced beyond the first round once, losing to the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in the 2018 Western Conference final.


1st Line


Left Wing - Ilya Kovalchuk The first overall pick in the 2001 draft, Ilya Kovalchuk is the ThrasherJets' all-time leader in goals with 328, point shares with 74.5, and goals per game with 0.55. "Kovy" shared the NHL lead with 41 goals in 2003-04 and led the league with 27 power play markers in 2005-06. He's the franchise leader in power play goals, even-strength goals and game-winning goals, and only Blake Wheeler has produced more points for AtlantaPeg.

Center
- Mark Scheifele The first draft pick of the franchise's Winnipeg era, Mark Scheifele boasts the best plus/minus rating in team history at +82. He enters the 2020-21 season with a streak of five consecutive 60-plus point seasons intact, and his 454 career points are the fourth-most in franchise history. Scheifele is also fourth among Jets in goals, even-strength goals, game-winning goals, shooting percentage, and offensive point shares.

Right Wing - Blake Wheeler One of eleven American-born players on the current Jets roster, Blake Wheeler has served as team captain since 2016. The fifth overall pick in 2004 led the NHL in assists with 68 in 2017-18, the first of back-to-back 91-point seasons for Winnipeg's all-time leading scorer. Wheeler's 442 career assists leads all Thrashers/Jets, and he trails only Kovalchuk in goals and point shares.


2nd Line


Left Wing
- Vyacheslav Kozlov A two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Red Wings, Slava Kozlov scored one more point for the Thrashers (in 70 fewer games) than he did in the Motor City. The Thrashers/Jets' fifth-leading scorer posted four of his six 70-point seasons in Atlanta including a career-high 80 in 2006-07, helping the franchise earn its first playoff berth. Only three players in franchise history have potted more power play goals than Kozlov's 51, and he ranks tenth among all players in team history with 40 point shares.

Center - Bryan Little Atlanta's first round pick in the 2006 draft, Bryan Little has played 843 games for the Thrashers/Jets franchise, more than any other player in team history. He ranks second to Ilya Kovalchuk in power play goals with 58 (roughly half of Kovy's total), second in assists with 304, and at the moment he's tied with Blake Wheeler for second in goals with 217. AtlantaPeg's third-leading point producer has been sidelined since November 2019 with a head injury sustained from friendly fire and is unlikely to play again.

Right Wing - Patrik Laine The youngest player on any All-Time Team roster, 22 year-old Patrik Laine was the second overall pick in the 2016 draft. In just 306 games with Winnipeg, the Finnish forward scored 140 goals - the sixth-highest total in franchise history - filling the net at the third-highest rate (0.46 goals per game) among Thrashers/Jets. The NHL leader in power play goals with 20 in 2017-18, Laine's 52 man-advantage markers also ranks third in franchise annals. A recent trade of disgruntled stars sent him to Columbus with Jack Roslovic in exchange for Pierre-Luc Dubois.


3rd Line

Left Wing - Andrew Ladd A two-time Stanley Cup winner, Andrew Ladd was the last captain in Atlanta Thrashers history and the first captain of Jets 2.0. He ranks seventh in franchise history with 139 goals and 26.3 offensive point shares, eighth in assists with 166, and eighth in points with 205. Only four Thrashers/Jets have scored more even-strength goals than Ladd's 99, and only five players have potted more game-winners.

Center
- Mathieu Perreault One of seven current Jets on this all-time roster, Mathieu Perreault is 13th on the team's scoring list with 213 points - the third-highest total among centers. He ranks 12th in Winnipeg annals with 93 even-strength assists and tied for 12th in power play goals with Marc Savard, who didn't qualify for this roster. This is one franchise that is very thin down the middle - as you'll see on the next line.

Right Wing - Nikolaj Ehlers The ninth overall pick in the 2014 draft, Nikolaj Ehlers ranks ninth in Jets history in goals (120), assists (148), and points (268). A two-time 60-point scorer, Ehlers is fourth in Winnipeg annals with a plus/minus rating of +44. The Danish forward is sixth in franchise history with 97 even-strength goals and one game-winning goal away from tying Ladd for sixth on that list.


4th Line

Left Wing - Evander Kane The fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft, Evander Kane is tied for eighth in AtlantaPeg annals with 88 even strength goals and his 109 total goals are tied for tenth with Kyle Connor (who hasn't yet qualified for this roster.) The NHL's leader in penalty minutes in each of the last two seasons, Kane has developed into a valuable power forward for the Sabres and Sharks, posting four consecutive seasons of over 25 goals including his second 30-goal season in 2018-19.

Center
- Patrik Stefan The first overall pick in the 1999 draft (ahead of the Sedin twins) Patrik Stefan's NHL career was a disappointment by any measure. However, as I mentioned, the Thrashers/Jets are very thin at the center position and Stefan - with his 177 points in 414 games for Atlanta - ranks fourth among qualifying centers in franchise history. He ranks 14th in franchise history with 118 assists and his 91 even-strength helpers are 13th in ThrasherJets annals.

Right Wing - Chris Thorburn The franchise leader in penalty minutes with 832, Chris Thorburn is fourth in Thrashers/Jets annals with 709 games played. A physical forward, Thorburn scored just 49 goals in his ten seasons with the team. He ranks 13th among Jets forwards with 71 even-strength assists. 25 players produced more points for AtlantaPeg but only two of them - Wheeler and Laine - were right wings who qualified for this roster. He might be the Yuniesky Betancourt of this All-Time series, but "Thor" is hardly out of place on a checking line.


Jim Slater was Atlanta's second first-round pick in 2002 and suited up for the Thrashers/Jets franchise 584 times - the seventh-most games played in team history. Slater's 67 goals are the 12th-highest total among eligible ThrasherJets players, and his 407 penalty minutes place him 13th among all players in team annals. Andrew Copp's offensive production compares favorably to Chris Thorburn's - and the Michigan man played in roughly half as many games. Copp's plus/minus rating of +55 ranks third in Jets history. Adam Lowry was the only other eligible forward worth considering.

 

Defense Pair 1

A powerful presence on the blueline (and occasionally on the forward lines) Dustin Byfuglien won a Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010, days before being traded to Atlanta in a cap-clearing move. A five-time 50-point scorer, "Big Buff" became the Thrashers/Jets leading scorer among defensemen less than a decade later. His 294 assists are third in Jets history among all players, and his 27.7 defensive point shares rank second in team history behind only Tobias Enstrom. The Swedish rearguard is second to Bryan Little in games played for the franchise and ranks seventh among ThrasherJets in points and assists.



Defense Pair 2


Currently a New York Ranger, Jacob Trouba set career highs with 42 assists and 50 points for Winnipeg in 2018-19, his last year with the Jets. The ninth overall pick in the 2012 draft ranks sixth in team annals with a +37 rating and his 179 points are third among Winnipeg defensemen. Myers sits one spot ahead of him on the team's plus/minus list and ranks fourth among Jets rearguards with 14 defensive point shares. The 2010 Calder trophy winner with Buffalo played just 270 games for this franchise - less than my unofficial minimum of 300 - but I'd rather bend the rules for him than add Mark Stuart or Garnet Exelby to this roster.

 

Defense Pair 3

Josh Morrissey - Zach Bogosian

After just four full seasons with Winnipeg Josh Morrissey already ranks in the team's top ten in plus/minus (seventh) and defensive point shares (eighth). The 13th overall pick in 2013 has tallied 111 points to date - sixth-most among Jets defensemen and four fewer than Tyler Myers (in 25 more games). Zach Bogosian ranks tenth in team annals (and seventh among blueliners) with 13 defensive point shares. The third overall pick in the 2008 draft is 15th in Thrashers/Jets history with 393 games played and 325 penalty minutes.

 

Spare - Ron Hainsey

A veteran of 17 NHL seasons and seven NHL teams, Ron Hainsey played 346 games for the Thrashers/Jets franchise, the sixth most among defensemen. His 93 assists are tied for 20th in team history and only three defensemen dished out more helpers. The Connecticut native was Montreal's first round pick in 2000. 


Goalies

Starter - Connor Hellebuyck

Backup - Ondrej Pavelec

The 2020 Vezina trophy winner, Connor Hellebuyck tops all Winnipeg netminders in goals against average, save percentage, and shutouts. With his next win he'll break a tie with Ondrej Pavelec for the most in franchise history. Pavelec paces the franchise in minutes played and games in net. He's fourth among all Thrashers/Jets in point shares - and first among goalies - with 58.2. Kari Lehtonen's 2.87 save percentage for Atlanta is equal to Pavelec's, and the Finnish netminder ranks second to Hellebuyck in save percentage. However his 204 games for the franchise just weren't enough to earn a spot over Ondrej.

 


Head Coach: Paul Maurice  Captain: Andrew Ladd

The Jets' current head coach, Paul Maurice has earned twice as many victories for the franchise as second-place Bob Hartley. His .581 winning percentage is tops in Jets annals and he was behind the bench for all twelve of the team's postseason victories.

 

I hope you'll join us tomorrow for our final All-Time Team, the leftover Rovers.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

10 comments:

  1. When I was first getting into hockey I found it so confusing that there were two different teams named the Winnipeg Jets. It didn't take me long to figure it out but there was definitely confusion for a short time. I like their logo. Think the Laine for Dubois trade was a mistake but the unhappyness may have been affecting the team, who knows.

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    1. I know it was affecting Columbus. Not sure about Winnipeg, but they both seemed to be happy with the change of scenery so far.

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  2. Might be the weakest roster by my ultra-scientific 'heard of' metric. Kovalchuk is the list.

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    1. Pretty much. Wheeler and Hellebuyck are underrated - but that doesn't stop me from calling him Hella-suck lol

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  3. Love the inclusion of Kozlov! Under-rated player who I really loved as a kid with Detroit.

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  4. Yeah, not too many guys I recognize, either. Nice to see Trouba, though!

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  5. Holy crap, the Massena native (Bogosian) makes an all-time team!

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  6. Kozlov, Kovalchuk, and Laine on a power-play unit with Byfuglien and Enstrom at the points would be fun to watch!

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    1. I like the way you think of these rosters!

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  7. Always thought it was weird that there are two Winnipeg Jets franchises. I guess that's why I still sort them into three stacks... Winnipeg Jets (90's and earlier), Phoenix Coyotes, and Atlanta Thrashers/current Winnipeg Jets. Sad to see that there's only one more team and then we're done. Nice job on the series! Thanks.

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