The Winnipeg Jets have many prospects waiting to make the jump to the NHL. Here are three prospects that can have an impact with Winnipeg next season.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have written about how the Winnipeg Jets can improve their roster by adding players in free agency or by trading for players.
But what if the Jets can address some of their weak spots and replace departing players by promoting from within their own organization rather than looking for outside help.
Winnipeg has an immense amount of young talent throughout their organization and there are some players who are on the cusp of becoming full-time members of the Jets.
As we take an early look ahead to next season, here are three talented prospects that could have an impact with the Jets during the 2021-2022 season:
3. Mikhail Berdin
Mikhail Berdin was loaned back to Russia, his home country, before the 2021 season to get some crucial game time before professional hockey returned to North America. In his fourteen-game stint with SKA St. Petersburg, Berdin put up some outstanding numbers with a 6-3-2 record, a 2.51 goals against average, and a .912 save percentage.
Upon his return to the Winnipeg Jets organization, and for the second straight season, Berdin was the number one goaltender for the Jets AHL affiliate, the Manitoba Moose.
The former 2016 sixth-round draft pick also had some good stats. For back-to-back seasons he finished with a 2.89 goals against average, but his save percentage went down from .910 in 2019-2020 to .897 this past season. During the 2021 season, Berdin appeared in the second-most amount of games among AHL goaltenders and posted a 13-11-5 record.
With Laurent Brossoit and Eric Comrie both being pending free agents, we could see the twenty-three-year-old goaltender get promoted to the NHL for the first time in his career. He has played great in both the AHL, over the past three seasons, and in the KHL, for a brief stint, and has the potential to be among the next wave of great goaltenders in the NHL.
The Jets front office definitely sees Berdin as one of the key parts of the future for the Jets as they gave him a contract extension before this last season. Berdin’s contract is a two-way deal this upcoming season and moves to a one-way contract during the 2022-2023 season.
Berdin may not get the biggest workload as a backup to Connor Hellebuyck but he could have the chance to play a handful of games and have an impact as he continues to rise through the organization as the Jets top goaltending prospect.