The Winnipeg Jets are gearing up for significant off-season decisions regarding their defensemen. With Craig Berube joining the Toronto Maple Leafs as the head coach, the Jets must finalize their coaching choice and rigorously evaluate their defensive squad's performance from the 2023-24 season using various advanced statistical categories. Josh Morrissey and Dylan DeMelo shined, while Neal Pionk struggled across multiple metrics, highlighting areas for potential upgrades. General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff faces the challenge of optimizing the roster with limited cap space.

By the Numbers
  • Josh Morrissey ranked 8th among NHL defensemen with 69 points.
  • Dylan DeMelo had a +46 plus/minus rating, 2nd best in the NHL.
  • Logan Stanley played only 25 games, with a 59.1% goal percentage while on ice.
Yes, But

While the Jets had several defensemen with strong individual performances, players like Neal Pionk and Logan Stanley significantly underperformed in advanced metrics, which might limit overall team efficiency. Additionally, DeMelo’s high turnover rate and Dillon’s penalty minutes could be potential areas of concern.

State of Play
  • Morrissey and DeMelo are strong performers but may require better partners.
  • Dillon's physicality is valued but his contract and penalties are problematic.
What's Next

The Jets need to address the weak spots in their defense, focusing on finding a strong right-handed defenseman and possibly upgrading other defensive positions either through trades or free agency before the season starts. Contract negotiations and salary cap management will significantly impact these decisions.

Bottom Line

For the Jets to remain competitive, they need to strategically improve their defensive lineup. Focusing on underperforming areas and leveraging potential trades will be crucial as they navigate an off-season full of critical decisions.