The Winnipeg Jets will likely be looking for a new assistant coach next season, as John Buccigross of ESPN reports that Todd Woodcroft has been offered the head coaching position at the University of Vermont. Murat Ates of The Athletic believes Woodcroft will take the position and notes how much time the coach spent practicing with the younger Jets players.
Woodcroft has been part of several organizations around the NHL, spending time as a video coach, scout, director of scouting and assistant coach. He has also been part of several different World Championship coaching staffs, but will now get his chance to lead a college program.
- The Manitoba Moose, AHL affiliate of the Jets, have signed two forwards to minor league deals for 2021-22. Westin Michaud and Biagio Lerario have both agreed to AHL contracts, giving them a chance to move to the professional ranks. Michaud recently finished his fourth NCAA season and first at the University of North Dakota, where he recorded 28 points in 35 games. The 24-year old had previously transferred from Colorado College. Lerario meanwhile played four seasons at Northeastern University, occupying a bottom-six role to support the more flashy offensive players the program has seen come and go. In 122 NCAA games, the 24-year old Lerario scored 29 points and recorded 173 PIM.
- When you look at the Jets depth chart for next season it’s easy to pencil in Ville Heinola as a full-time roster player, given the fact that Dmitry Kulikov, Nathan Beaulieu, Dylan DeMelo, Luca Sbisa and Anthony Bitetto are all headed for unrestricted free agency. Heinola was impressive in his debut at the beginning of the season before returning to Finland, but GM Kevin Cheveldayoff cautioned against making any assumptions when speaking with Ken Wiebe of The Athletic (subscription required). The then-18-year-old defenseman recorded five points in eight games with the Jets at the beginning of the year, before starring once again for Finland at the World Juniors. He’ll have to perform just as well at next season’s training camp to secure his spot. Selected 20th overall in 2019, even if they have to wait another year, it seems as though the Jets found another steal in the latter part of the first round.