Evander’s Exodus: Kane leaves Winnipeg in Blockbuster Deal

New York Islanders v Winnipeg JetsAfter years of inactivity on the trade market, Kevin Cheveldayoff pulled off the biggest deal the NHL has seen in years. After a week of rampant speculation following “track suit-gate”, Winnipeg dealt Evander Kane – the most controversial figure in Jets 2.0 history. But perhaps a bigger surprise was that long-time Jets-Thrashers d-man, Zach Bogosian, was also included in the deal.

Too often, players get evaluated based on expectations. particularly when it comes to salary and draft position. Kane and Bogosian were each top-5 draft picks who came to Atlanta at the tender age of 18. Each showed enough glimpses of promise in the foregoing years to ‘earn’ large, long-term contracts from the club. And while each player made significant contributions in their time with the franchise, it’s probably fair to say that they failed to live up to the draft-day hype.

However, expectations are a two-way street, because when it comes to trades, NHL players are sort of like stocks; regardless of how the company’s actually performing, if the expectations in the market for that company are good, then the stock price will continue to rise. Similarly, if expectations around the league for a particular player are still high, then that player will still be a significant asset for that club. Given their size, speed, youth, and draft pedigree, Kane and Bogosian were, and are valuable commodities. With that in mind, let’s see how this trade shakes down, and whether the Jets deserve praise or criticism for this move. Continue reading

Lessons from the 2011 NHL Entry Draft

 

It's Joe Sakic

Back in June of 2011, as excitement for our newly returned Jets gripped the city, I made my way down to Minneapolis for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. For a hockey-crazed fan like myself, it was memorable, to say the least. All the hockey media is out in full force – the boys from TSN, Sportsnet, The Hockey News, and many more. Continue reading

2011 Jets Draft Prospects

1st round pick Mark Scheifele (shy-fil-lee)

Here’s a preliminary look at the new recruits, with a statistical bias (since I haven’t really seen them play yet.)

Mark Scheifele: A similar story to last year’s 4th overall pick, Ryan Johansen in that he didn’t play in the CHL at age 16 as most top prospects inevitably do. (He was previously committed to Cornell University). Instead, his draft year was also his rookie year in the OHL. Thus, he was nowhere to be found in the top-30 prospects at the beginning of the year, but steadily shot up the rankings, after finishing second among all OHL rookies in points. However, it was his play at the Under-18 World Championships that really endeared him to scouts, as he led Team Canada forwards in scoring (6G, 2A in 7GP) and was named the top Canadian forward as selected by the coaching staff.

While a –22 rating is normally some cause for concern, it was actually quite good considering that his team was outscored 231-348 on the year, and the two players near him in scoring (presumably linemates for some part of the year) were –42 and –50. Scheifele is in fact a very heady player who plays both ends of the ice well, and at 6’3, 175, he’s still very much growing into his body. With 53 assists on the year, he appears to be more of a puck distributor, but his performance at the Under-18’s showed that he can also find the back of the net when the pressure is on. Continue reading