As we look ahead to the upcoming 2021-2022 season, with the current salary cap the situation the Winnipeg Jets currently find themselves in, unless Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Jets front office decide to make more trades, the Jets roster looks close to being set.
With four out of the six mainstays from the Jets’ bottom six from last season that departed to other franchises, there will be opportunities for younger players who did not play much last year at the NHL level to fill these vacant roles.
One player that comes to mind that has a fantastic opportunity to solidify his spot in the Jets lineup next season is Kristian Vesalainen.
The upcoming season may give Kristian Vesalainen a great opportunity to become a mainstay in the Winnipeg Jets lineup
The twenty-two-year-old and former 2017 Jets’ first-round draft pick, Vesalainen, is coming into his fourth season with the Jets franchise.
The 2021 season was the most time he spent with the Jets after playing the full 2019-2020 season with the Manitoba Moose and also playing five games with the Jets during the 2018-2019 while playing primarily with the Moose that season.
Vesalainen spent most of the past season on the Jets’ taxi squad, as he only appeared in 12 games for Winnipeg and he registered one assist in those games.
Paul Maurice and the Jets coaching staff seem to like the winger’s style of play as he played in four playoff games for the Jets during the most recent postseason.
Vesalainen could be the perfect candidate to feature on either the Jets’ third or fourth lines at the start of the season. The six-foot-four left shooting forward, has the potential to be a great power forward that knows how to use his size and is to be tough to beat in front of the net in the offensive zone.
There will be many chances for younger players in the Jets organization at the start of the next season to earn a spot in the Jets’ starting lineup. The 21-22 season may be Vesalainen’s best opportunity to solidify his place in Winnipeg’s bottom-six.
Winnipeg Jets Fans: Where do you think the best place in the Winnipeg Jets’ lineup is for Kristian Vesalainen? Leave your comments below!
*All Stats Provided by Elite Prospects*