The futures of Connor Hellebuyck and Mark Scheifele with the Jets has been a source of speculation all summer with no extensions in place as they enter the final year of their contracts. GM Kevin Cheveldayoff told Pierre LeBrun and Michael Russo of The Athletic (subscription link) that he plans to meet with both players once training camp gets underway to continue talks on a new deal. After trading Pierre-Luc Dubois and buying out Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg’s roster looks a bit weaker on paper heading into the season but having Hellebuyck and Scheifele around would certainly help their chances of making the playoffs. At this point, they’re expected to be on the roster when the regular season starts whether or not an extension is in place.
Elsewhere in the Central:
- Avalanche prospect Ivan Zhigalov was supposed to play in Belarus this season but the deal ultimately fell through. However, it appears as if he has found a new place to play as McKeen’s Brock Otten reports (Twitter link) that the netminder will suit up for USHL Tri-City in 2023-24. The 20-year-old was the final pick of the 2022 draft (225th overall) and spent last season with OHL Kingston where he posted a 3.59 GAA with a .889 SV% in 45 games. The Avs have until June 1st to sign Zhigalov to an entry-level deal.
- Stars prospect Lian Bichsel underwent ankle surgery back in the spring but he has been cleared to return as the team posted on Twitter that the blueliner skated in Dallas for the first time on Friday. The 19-year-old was the 18th pick last year and spent last season in Leksands’ system, playing in 42 games at the SHL level. There was a report back in August that suggested Bichsel won’t go back there for the upcoming season if he doesn’t land a roster spot with Dallas but instead, he’ll go to Rogle, another SHL squad.