Thread: Speculation: Winnipeg Jets 2013 Draft Talk
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02-25-2013, 10:05 AM
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Here is a bit of a summary on players who have stayed and how the core was formed over the last number of years.

2007-2008: Enstrom (rookie), Little (rookie, played 48 games), Slater, Thorburn.

*Note: Little and Enstrom were Rookies. Ron Hainsey was acquired via UFA in the 2008 offseason.

Coaching/GM: Bob Hartley was fired just 6 games into the 2007-2008 season. Don Waddell took over as Head Coach. Don Waddell was GM.
2008-2009: Little (first full NHL season), Hainsey, Enstrom, Bogosian (rookie), Slater, Thorburn.

*Note: Both Little and Bogosian were playing their first NHL seasons full-time in 2008-2009. Antropov was added in the 2009 offseason.

Coaching/GM:This was John Anderson's first season as Head Coach. Don Waddell was GM.

2009-2010: Antropov, Enstrom, Little, Kane (rookie), Hainsey, Bogosian, Slater, Thorburn, Pavelec (rookie).

*Note: 2009-2010 was Kane and Pavelec's rookie seasons. During the 2010 Offseason, Ladd and Byfuglien were acquired, Burmistrov was added via the draft.

Coaching/GM: John Anderson was fired after the 2009-2010 season and Craig Ramsay was named Head Coach. Don Waddell was also replaced by Rick Dudley as the General Manager.
2010-2011: "The final season in Atlanta": Ladd, Byfuglien, Wheeler, Enstrom, Little, Kane, Antropov, Burmistrov, Thorburn, Hainsey, Bogosian, Slater, Stuart, Pavelec.

*Note: This season was Ladd and Byfugliens first (and only) season in Atlanta. It was also just Kane's 2nd NHL season, so, Scheifele's age right now. During this 2010-2011 Season, in February, Wheeler & Stuart were acquired. They only played 23 games in Atlanta.

Coaching/GM: This was Craig Ramsay's one and only season as Head Coach. It was also Rick Dudley's one and only season as GM.
2011-2012: First season in Winnipeg.
As we can see, bits and parts of this group have indeed been together for some time now, but in that time not all parts were ready to contribute all at one time, all together. The amount of turnover from Coaches to General Managers within this group is drastic.

I think realistically speaking, in my own opinion of course, looking back here and looking at this group with the benefit of hindsight and in the grand scheme of things, this is the first season I can bring myself to expect this core group to really come together and produce some results.

*If you date back to the 2007-2008 season to when we arrived in Winnipeg for the 2011-2012 season, this "group" at some point or another, had played for Bob Hartley, Don Waddell, John Anderson, Craig Ramsay and then Claude Noel. 5 coaches, 5 different different systems, philosophies, etc.. all in a few seasons. Do we see how well that is working out for Washington right now? They were also directed in 3 different directions under GM's Don Waddell, Rick Dudley and then Kevin Cheveldayoff.

*It takes a good handful of years for a young defenseman to really make his mark, gain consistency, be a difference maker, etc - We're seeing that from Bogosian. Last season as we headed into Winnipeg, we hadn't a clue what we had in Bogosian.

*Enstrom and Byfuglien, who before coming to Winnipeg had ONE season paired together under a entirely different coaching staff and system.

*Unless you're Crosby or truly elite, it generally takes a couple or a few seasons of experience, development and maturity for a rookie/young forward to really engrave himself as a difference maker, we're seeing it from Kane and to an extent Burmistrov, more so defensively but he is coming along in areas that help the team. As the team arrived in Winnipeg, Kane hadn't found his goal scoring at the level he is finding consistently now, and Burmistrov was entering his 2nd NHL season and truthfully was nowhere ready to contribute consistently to an NHL team.

*Coming to Winnipeg, Ladd, Little and Wheeler had no more than 23 games of playing time together.

*Pavelec was and is still maturing but heading into last season, our first in Winnipeg, Pavelec was just 23 turning 24 in August. That is still very young for a no. 1 goaltender.

*Guys who have been here a while Slater and Thorburn may be nice depth pieces, but not the difference makers that will take you to the next step. Sure a guy like Slater will and can be part of it, but before that you need the most relied upon players to pull the weight of the team.

In my opinion, all things considered, this year is the first season in which I think expectations can realistically be placed on this teams shoulders to actually do something when you take everything from age, inexperience, experience, relocation, new coaching staff, systems, shaking bad habits, gaining chemistry, a change in General Manager's, etc.. all into place. Some teams can come together after an offseason of moves and just click, while others it takes time for the maturity process to transpire and for players to really make their mark consistently.

Breaking it all down, this is the first season I think I can look up and down this roster and say "they should contend for a playoff spot at the bottom of the pack". Because truthfully, not until now in my opinion is it realistic to expect this "core", all things considered, to really come together and make a difference at the NHL level.

To have expected anything prior to this season in my own opinion of course, while now breaking things down and looking back, may have been unrealistic. In a perfect world perhaps they would have come together sooner, but in breaking things down here, I think I can see why they haven't put it together leading up to this season and where we are now.

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