The Winnipeg Jets are joining several teams to announce their qualifying offers early (before Wednesday’s deadline) as the team announced they have tendered qualifying offers to six players. The players receiving offers were forwards Mason Appleton, Jansen Harkins, Jack Roslovic and C.J. Suess and defensemen Sami Niku and Nelson Nogier.
Many of those players played significant roles for Winnipeg last year. Roslovic is at the top of the list, who has continually improved as a forward in Winnipeg. The 23-year-old broke double digits in goals (12) last season, adding 29 points and many believe the center is a strong candidate to take over as the team’s No. 2 center next year and could be a candidate for a breakout season after a solid February before the season was shutdown. He also saw his ice time increase by almost five minutes last year.
Appleton also played a key role with the team, posting five goals and eight points in 46 games as a bottom-line forward, who will likely take on that role again next year. Harkins is another fourth-line option for the Jets, who posted two goals and seven points in 29 games last season, while the 26-year-old Suess posted career highs with the Manitoba Moose in the AHL with 14 goals and is a solid depth option for the Jets.
Many thought Niku would step into a full-time role when the Jets found themselves short-handed at the beginning of the year. The 23-year-old has been quite effective in the AHL the last couple of seasons, but while he did appear in 17 NHL games last season, the blueliner will have to try to establish himself there once again. His playing time did increase that this year as he averaged 16:10 of ATOI. The 24-year-old Nogier played his entire season in Manitoba and continues to be a depth option for the team.
With seven restricted free agents, one player was told he won’t be back with the team as Michael Spacek wasn’t tendered an offer sheet. Spacek, a Jets’ fourth-round pick in 2015, played three seasons with the Moose, but saw a decline in his play last season, scoring a career-low nine goals and 20 points in 45 games. He hasn’t appeared in an NHL game yet.