The Winnipeg Jets are supposed to resume their season on December 27 against the Minnesota Wild, but if they do, it will likely be without the services of a pair of forwards. Andrew Copp and Kristian Vesalainen have been placed in the COVID protocol. A support staff member has also been added.
The Jets were one of the few teams in the league that had no one else in the protocol, though they had dealt with absences from Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler early on. Hopefully, it will stop with these two and the team can get back to full strength before long.
Losing Copp especially will be painful given his huge role on the team. The 27-year-old forward is averaging more than 20 minutes a night for the Jets, including lining up at the center ice position. With 20 points in 30 games he’s on pace to set a career-high in several categories and his possession statistics are the best they’ve ever been.
In fact, Copp appears poised to land quite the free agent contract should the Jets allow him to hit the open market after the season. A middle-six forward that can basically play any role or position you ask of him, he’ll be highly sought after by contenders across the league. His one-year, $3.64MM contract could certainly be dwarfed if his current play continues the whole season. A stint on the COVID list certainly won’t help that case, but at least there is a chance he misses only a handful of games given the current break.