Winnipeg Jets: Preview of the Jets 2022 Offseason

Winnipeg Jets, Paul Stastny (25). Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Winnipeg Jets, Paul Stastny (25). Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

The Winnipeg Jets 2021-2022 season came to a close yesterday afternoon as they completed a two-goal third period comeback to beat the Seattle Kraken 4-3 in thrilling fashion.

Unfortunately for Jets supporters, the Jets performed below the high expectations that were set for the team and they missed out on the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2016-2017 season.

Now that the offseason has begun for the Winnipeg Jets here is a quick preview of what is facing the Jets

Although the Stanley Cup Playoffs are starting this evening, here is an early look at the Jets’ offseason:

The Jets’ Coaching Situation

When Paul Maurice resigned back in December, the Jets promoted Dave Lowry to head coach but in an interim role.

The Jets posted a 26-22-6 record under Lowry and picked up 58 points in the 54 games that Lowry was the bench boss, but failed to make the postseason.

Winnipeg has yet to address if Lowry will stay as the Jets head coach or if they will look elsewhere for someone to lead the Jets. (After this article was published, Kevin Cheveldayoff stated the Jets will search for a new head coach):

Winnipeg’s coaching situation for the upcoming season will definitely be a major storyline for the Jets during this offseason.

Free Agency

The Jets have a number of roster players who are set to become restricted free agents (“RFAs”) and unrestricted free agents (“UFAs”), if the Jets do not get extensions done with the players before July 13.

On the Jets main roster, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Mason Appleton, Evgeny Svechnikov, and Jansen Harkins are all RFAs. Not to mention that the Jets also have an influx of AHL players that are due to be RFAs including Kristian Vesalinen, David Gustafsson, Jeff Malott, Leon Gawanke, Markus Phillips, Johnathan Kovacevic, and Philippe Desrosiers.

The Jets do also have a couple of players that are scheduled to become UFAs including Paul Stastny, Zach Sanford, Adam Brooks, Luke Johnson, Austin Pognaski, C.J. Suess, and Eric Comrie.

It is safe to say that Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Jets front office will have their hands full with all of these contracts and salary cap implications. It will be interesting to see who the Jets resign and who the Jets part ways with either by not resigning or trading.

Draft Lottery and Draft

For the first time in half of a decade, the Jets will be included in the NHL Draft Lottery, which is scheduled for May 10.

Since the Jets finished with the fourteenth worst record in the NHL, they have no chance of winning the first overall pick. At best, the Jets can move up ten slots to the fourth overall selection.

Then on July 7-8, the NHL Entry Draft will take place in Montreal. Currently, the Jets have six picks in the draft, but one of the conditional second-round picks they acquired from the New York Rangers in the Andrew Copp trade can move to a first-round pick if the Rangers win two playoff series and Copp plays in 50% of those games.

The only round that the Jets do not have a scheduled selection is the fifth round because they traded that pick to acquire Zach Sanford during the 2022 trade deadline.

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In all, it should be an extremely exciting offseason regarding the Winnipeg Jets. It will be interesting to see what Kevin Cheveldayoff does to turn the Jets back into a Stanley Cup contender for the 2022-2023 season.