Out of the 23 players the Winnipeg Jets have drafted since the 2017 NHL Entry Draft through the 2020 draft, only three of those players (Ville Heinola, David Gustafsson, and Kristian Vesalainen) have gone on to play a game with the Jets.
With Paul Maurice and the Jets coaching staff fielding a consistent veteran-style lineup and roster the past couple of seasons, it has been tough for Jets’ prospects to get a chance to make the jump to the NHL.
But this current offseason may provide the top prospects in the Jets organization a chance to earn a spot with the Jets considering the salary cap situation the Jets front office currently faces.
Winnipeg currently has thirteen forwards on their roster for the 2021-22 season and is projected to be $5,000,000 over the salary cap ceiling. This could ultimately force the Jets to call up players from within their organization rather than trying to sign more free agents and could open the door for prospects including Cole Perfetti.
The situation the Winnipeg Jets currently face may give Cole Perfetti a great opportunity to earn a roster spot with the Jets
Perfetti was a player who benefited immensely from the 2020-2021 OHL season being canceled because normally a player of his age would not have been eligible to play in the AHL, but due to the abnormalities of hockey during the pandemic, Perfetti and others were allowed to compete in the AHL.
The Jets 2020 first-round pick played outstanding during his first professional season, scoring nine goals and adding seventeen assists in 32 games for the Manitoba Moose. He finished second on the Moose in points scored and top-ten among rookies in the AHL in points.
Ultimately, Perfetti’s performances from 2021 earned him a call up to Team Canada for the 2021 IIHF World Championship where he had two goals in ten games en route to a gold medal.
Perfetti showed throughout last season that he can be a top-performer at the AHL level and showed his skills at the World Championship against tough competition.
With the Jets in a salary cap bind and their need for a couple of more forwards, an opportunity may arise for Perfetti to prove himself with the Jets when the season starts in October.
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Winnipeg Jets Fans: Do you think Cole Perfetti will make his NHL debut during the upcoming season or do you think he needs another year of development before joining the Winnipeg Jets? Leave your comments below!
*All Stats Provided by Elite Prospects*