As the Winnipeg Jets face the end of an abrupt season, defenseman Brenden Dillon is among the key players approaching free agency. Dillon, who's been a staple of the Jets' defense for three seasons, averaged nearly 19 minutes of ice time per game and hit a career-high nine goals this past season. Despite his desire to stay, no extension talks have been reported, signaling a high likelihood of Dillon hitting the free-agent market. His physical style and leadership have been crucial, but with him turning 34 and younger talents waiting in the wings, the time might be ripe for both sides to move on.

By the Numbers
  • Averaged nearly 19 minutes of ice time per game.
  • Career-high nine goals in the season.
  • Led the team with 241 hits.
  • Seven fighting majors tied with Adam Lowry.
Yes, But

While Dillon has expressed a desire to stay in Winnipeg, the lack of extension talks and the team's current transition under a new head coach make his return uncertain. His physical style, though valuable, is taxing and poses a higher injury risk as he ages.

State of Play
  • No extension talks have been reported as of May 15.
  • Jets are still in the process of finding a new head coach.
What's Next

With younger defenders like Dylan Samberg ready to step up, Dillon's role may diminish if he stays. His future could likely involve exploring free agency for a top-four role elsewhere.

Bottom Line

If this marks the end of Dillon's time with the Jets, his contributions to the team's toughness and culture will be fondly remembered, but the franchise appears ready to transition to younger talent.