Youth Movement Continues in Winnipeg
The Winnipeg Jets started their season with a considerable amount of new youth to insert. Nik Ehlers, the headliner of the group has looked dangerous on many shifts playing with an offensive unit in Mathieu Perreault and Mark Scheifele. Ehlers has shown he’s consistently looking to be a threat, whether it be through a quick snapshot or his unique ability of cutting inside on defenders and getting a quick shot off. Paul Maurice has also mentioned no concern of his defensive game, saying the effort has been there since day one.
Nic Petan, although in a much different role than Ehlers, has looked like looked like the rare case where a highly skilled offensive player actually benefits from playing on the fourth line. His linemates, Andrew Copp and Chris Thorburn, don’t play a particularly skilled game, but Petan is benefitting from being afforded time to learn to adjust his 5’9 frame to the rigors of the NHL. Maurice has also shown trust in him and a willingness to help him develop, since he is also getting plenty of time on the second power play unit. In most cases your fourth liner’s only special teams contribution is on the penalty kill, but the Jets have been afforded the rare opportunity where a power play man is stored in the bottom of your lineup.
Should any top 9 Jet go down with an injury, look for Petan to seamlessly slide to the left of Scheifele, and move the defensively responsible Mathieu Perreault off of his line to play with Adam Lowry and Alex Burmistrov.