Gawanke, 23, joins his defensive partner Declan Chisholm on this list because the two of them have been absolutely lights out. Through the first few days of camp, the two of them have thrived in the new-look, aggressive defensive systems that seem to be in place under Rick Bowness.
Gawanke finished fourth in scoring on the Manitoba Moose last season, recording 10 goals and 36 points in 65 games. He is known for his affinity to shoot the puck, leading to several chances for both himself and his teammates around the net. Given the current state of the Jets’ defensive group, his offensive mindset could be a welcome addition.
The issue with Gawanke’s status is similar to Eyssimont, as both require waivers to be sent back to the Moose if needed. It seems unlikely that Gawanke gets the nod over someone like Chisholm, but his play in camp has likely made the staff at least consider the possibility of a blue line featuring him. Gawanke likely starts his season with Chisholm back with the Moose, but once injuries and potential trades take place, expect him to make a difference in that defensive core.