by Brandt Corbin
When one sits back and analyzes the Winnipeg Jets and their roster, one knew going into the off-season the teams strength was on defense. Two weeks into the off-season the team has only increased their depth, leading some to question will their be a bigger move made?
Nine NHL defenseman signed
Going into the July 1, the team had the six defenseman from the previous season. Since then the Jets signed veteran defenseman Randy Jones to a one-way contract (over 1 million p/y). They’ve re-signed Brett Festerling, and they’ve also signed local product Derek Meech to two-way contracts. So in total they’ve got nine defenseman, and arguably they all could make opening night. It comes back to this, does Johnny Oduya or Ron Hainsey become expendable? One of the two will be the team’s 5th defenseman, but do you want your #5 de-man to earn 3.5 million p/y? Winnipeg could use help on its third line, and they also can take on a one-way contract or two. The other reason why the question needs to be asked is this, do you want your 7th de-man in Jones to make over a million and be sitting in the press box.
Two prospects knocking on the door
The Jets have two decent prospects who could fight for the 7th de-man job.Andrei Zubarev is a 24-year-old Russian, he’ll be entering his second season in North America. He’s on a two way contract, but has a $75,000 signing bonus which is guaranteed. He’ll get a long look in camp, if only for the fact of the bonus. The other potential blue-liner is 22-year-old Paul Potsma an offensive defenseman, his 45 points in the AHL only proves that.