From the 2021 offseason to the past year, this has been a bit of a whirlwind for Winnipeg Jets prospect defenseman, Leon Gawanke.
After the 2021 AHL season, the twenty-two-year-old got the call up to the national stage for Germany at the 2021 IIHF World Championship. He impressed many at the Worlds and his performances included scoring an extremely clutch goal in the final minutes of the quarterfinals to tie the game, which Germany ultimately won in a shootout to send them to the semifinals.
Although he was a long shot to make the Jets 2021-2022 opening night roster due to the Jets’ defensive depth, he had a good chance to make Germany’s team for the 2022 Olympic Games.
Unfortunately for Gawanke, the NHL announced they would not be participating in the Olympics and therefore he was not included on Germany’s roster, but that did not hinder him as he is having a great season in the AHL for the Manitoba Moose.
Winnipeg Jets prospect, Gawanke deserves an NHL chance at the end of this season
With where the Jets currently sit in the standings, and after suffering a devastating loss to the Detroit Red Wings yesterday, there is an extremely low probability that they make the 2022 postseason.
Rather than sticking with the same ole lineup every night, the Jets should insert some of their prospects in the lineup to see how they fare at the NHL level and Gawanke is worthy of a call-up.
The defenseman is first among all defensemen on the Moose in assists and points with 24 assists and 35 points. He also has eight goals and a plus-two plus/minus. His point total ranks him among the top-twenty defensemen in the AHL in points.
With seeing the inconsistency from the Jets this season, I do not think it would hurt to give Gawanke a shot before the season ends, his play this year shows he deserves it. Especially with the Manitoba Moose on the brink of making the postseason, it would be great to see Gawnake get some game time with the Jets before their season ends and the 2022 AHL postseason begins.
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Regardless if he gets called up or not, Gawanke is a player to keep an eye on during the final stretch of the season and in the Calder Cup playoffs.
Winnipeg Jets Fans: Do you agree that Leon Gawanke should be called up for a game or two? Leave your comments below!