The Winnipeg Jets training camp is less than two weeks away, and here is a look at some of the stories to follow leading into the regular season.
The Winnipeg Jets begin the 2021-22 regular season on October 14 against the Anaheim Ducks. Jets fans are understandably excited based on the extremely busy offseason the Jets had with a considerable amount of roster moves, which you can read about here in an excellent summary from Kieran Hurley.
On paper, the Jets have upgraded their roster from the team that finished last season with a second-round playoff loss to eventual Stanley Cup finalist Montreal Canadiens. However, with so many changes to the roster, there are some areas of uncertainty that the team will need to assess during training camp.
Here are three stories for Jets fans to watch when training camp opens for the Winnipeg Jets in mid-September.
3. Backup Goaltender
When training camp opens the Winnipeg Jets depth chart will have 26-year-old Eric Comrie as the backup goaltender to Connor Hellebuyck. Comrie has played most of his career in the AHL as a starting and backup goaltender.
His NHL experience has been limited to eight games with a save percentage of .873. Unless general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff picks up a veteran goaltender through waivers or a trade, the Jets will enter the regular season with a backup goaltender who has not proven he’s ready to play at the NHL level.
Mikhail Berdin will be Comrie’s competition for the backup goaltender job when training camp opens. Berdin has excelled in an increasing role with the AHL Manitoba Moose posting a save percentage of .910 and .897 in his last two seasons. If Berdin excels in camp or the exhibition games, he may get a look with the NHL club as back up to Connor Hellebuyck.
Hellebuyck will continue to be one of the busiest starting goaltenders in the NHL. Last year he started 80% of the regular season games and every playoff game. This means that the Jets do not typically rely on their backup goaltender to play often. However, the team is entering the season with the most uncertainty in their goaltending situation than they have had since 2017.