NYI
(45-26-8)
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Madison Square Garden
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(21-46-11)
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American Airlines Center
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(38-31-10)
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(43-28-8)
Ball Arena
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(46-24-10)
FLA
(34-38-8)
FLA Live Arena
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PHI
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Wells Fargo Center
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Capital One Arena
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Canadian Tire Centre
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Scotiabank Arena
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Bridgestone Arena
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(39-27-13)
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PPG Paints Arena
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Rogers Place
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Staples Center
MIN
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SJS
(41-37-1)
SAP Center

JETS IN FLIGHT TO SWEDEN

Another WJC 20 Puff Piece
12/26/2023 • Randell Miller

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA- The JETS have not had much to cheer for this season but the holiday break offers one ray of hope involving the WJC tourney set to take place this week and next in Sweden. The JETS have 5 young stars set to showcase their talents. Quick profiles on them are below:

 

Martin Misiak, Team SLOVAKIA (2023, NHL 2nd Round, DCHL 3rd Round)

Misiak is one of the six NHL Blackhawks prospects in the WJC this year. Touted as “man-sized” by The Hockey News, Misiak is no stranger to the tourney. The DCHL JETS are eager to see if he can make an impact given his strong junior production line in the OHL. This is Misiak’s 3rd appearance in the tourney but he touts a modest 2 point production to show for it. This did not stop the NHL Hawks or DCHL JETS from seeking his talents as a two way forward that plays hard.

WINNIPEG GM thoughts: “Not often do we walk away from the draft with 4 x NHL second round selections, but Misiak was on our radar and we hope it pays off!”

 

Rasmus Kumpulainen, Team FINLAND (2023, NHL 2nd Round, DCHL 3rd Round)

Rasmus is no stranger to international play but this might be one of the bigger stages in his career. He is currently posting good numbers as part of the Oshawa Generals. Scouts describe his game as highly physical but in a way that hides his skill game. Kumpulainen is a player respected by coaches given his Assistant Captaincy for Team Finland in the past. Scott Wheeler of the Athletic also wrote recently that Oshawa Generals GM Roger Hunt thinks Kumpulainen has a long NHL career ahead of him. Wheeler goes on to add that NHL WILD development staff and Oshawa staff admire Kumpulainen’s work ethic and communication skills.

WINNIPEG GM thoughts: “When we used our DCHL 3rd rounders to raid remaining 2nd Round NHL talents, Kumpulainen was a guy that we got calls on rather quickly. GMs expressed envy that we picked him so late, and he was not the only one. If he pans out as well as Hunt or the Wild believe, then that is a pick well spent.”

Danny Nelson, Team USA (2023, NHL 2nd Round, DCHL 3rd Round)

Speaking of talents that other GMs liked and have inquired about, the NYI selected Danny Nelson in the 2nd but again, GMs left him to WINNIPEG who could not pass on the talent. Despite a clear desire to land Martin Misiak in addition to Roman Kantserov of the NHL CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS, WINNIPEG took a detour to grab Danny Nelson at 72 overall. As a former Chicago resident, the WINNIPEG GM was hard-pressed to pass on a Minnesota boy who plays for Notre Dame. The Hockey Writers’ Michael Ostrower remarks that Nelson is “expected to push for a significant role” on TEAM USA. Nelson is a big producer for Notre Dame, but the path to the NHL starts with defensive consistency, which Nelson appears to be displaying.

WINNIPEG GM thoughts: “We detoured to pick Nelson when we did because we knew that he wouldn’t last to our next pick. We moved on him and we think that was the decision truly that enabled us to land 4 2nd Round NHL selections with just one DCHL 2nd Round pick in hand.”

 

Filip Bystedt, Team SWEDEN (2022, NHL 27th overall, DCHL 32 overall)

Filip Bystedt was considered a top 10 talent in Cory Pronman’s redraft of 2022. Such a jump usually requires a breakout performance and last year’s WJC tournament was the venue for this young forward to do just that. While Team Sweden failed to win a medal, Bystedt came through with 10 points. Additionally, he put up a respectable 20 points in the SHL with another 23 in international junior play. Bystedt’s development was recognized by the Sharks who signed him to an ELC over the summer. He is on loan to the SHL where he is posting similar numbers to last season, but he is likely to play a more prominent role in the WJC where he can showcase his talents.

WINNIPEG GM Thoughts: “I think the NHL SHARKS picking Bystedt counted against him in our draft. Since we had 2 x second half picks of the 2022 first round, we scouted those guys pretty heavily and we knew if we landed Bystedt at 32, we’d have a good shot at a real talent!”

Rutger McGroarty, Team USA (2022, NHL 14th overall, DCHL 17th overall)

Much has been written about Rutger McGroarty’s leadership and committed on-ice performances. While his skating used to be the primary mark against him, lately the narrative shifted to his health. As Rutger McGroarty took a hit playing for the Michigan Wolverines, he suffered a punctured lung and was doubtful to attend the tourney. However, Team USA named him Captain and some hockey analysts think McGroarty can be a Hobey Baker finalist if healthy. Putting the NCAA talk aside for a moment, the WPG JETS Website finished their WJC prospect piece with this about McGroarty: ““And the fact that he’s got experience and was on the team last year. Played a pretty substantial role last year despite being one of the younger guys. They gave him a lot of run last year. He was on the top power play last year. I’ve said it before and I think most of his teammates agree with me, that he is the heart and soul of this team.”

WINNIPEG GM Thought: “Sometimes you wonder why guys fall to you at a later pick but other times, you go out and target a guy that you think is something special and can fall to you, then you go to work to see that you can capitalize. The move to trade our 2023 1st for the 17 overall in 2022 was ENTIRELY ABOUT MCGROARTY! And when we picked him, regardless of how our 2022-23 season ended, we think we might have the future captain of the franchise in that pick.”