We know the Winnipeg Jets will be active in the trade market, hopefully acquiring a top six forward to help out down the stretch and in the playoffs. But they’re getting a few boosts from in-house contributors.
Trade acquisitions are great, but the return of those two players will definitely improve the Jets. Dustin Byfuglien should be back any day now, which is great.
Nikolaj Ehlers is also going to be back within a couple weeks, just around time for the deadline. Those players are known commodities on the Jets. The defense has been better of late, but Big Buff won’t hurt.
Ehlers will help with forward depth, and while I’m almost certain he’ll regain his spot on the top six, he might lose a few minutes. The reason for that is the team’s third hidden acquisition, Jack Roslovic, who seems to be breaking out midway into his first full season.
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Prior to the Ehlers injury, he wasn’t the recipient of many minutes, and it showed in his production. In his first 37 contests, he was averaging under 10 minutes a game, and had just two goals and five helpers.
But since then, his minutes have ratcheted up, he’s been playing on the second line and he’s averaging almost thirteen minutes a game. His production has spiked, too, culminating in his hat trick in the 9-3 demolition of Anaheim.
Five goals and nine points in his last 14 games, he’s starting to find his footing in the NHL. It’s easy to forget after the slow start, but Roslovic is a very talented player with a lot of offensive upside.
He’s a very good passer, a shifty skater and he has a quick release and a really good shot, he can be a good scorer in this league. Roslovic is also big enough, at 6’1 and 187 lbs, to throw the body a bit, but he’s not a power forward.
If he can really turn it on down the stretch, coupled with the two injury returns, the Jets can get some real upgrades without having to add anyone from outside the organization. Don’t get me wrong, they should still do that.
But if you can get four upgrades (Two return from injury, one breakout, one trade) on a team that’s already leading the Central Division, that’s a great boon to the Winnipeg Jets chances in their quest for the Stanley Cup.