The Winnipeg Jets know what they have in Nikolaj Ehlers. The 23-year-old forward is a speedster, who is known to score goals in bunches and is considered to be a key piece to the Jets’ top-six. Yet, at the same time, there are equally just as many questions as in 21 career playoff games, he has zero goals and has also proven to be wildly inconsistent. There has been plenty of talk that the Jets, struggling with salary cap issues as many of their young players have received or are soon expected to receive big contracts, might be willing to move their young Danish forward.
However, the Winnipeg Sun’s Scott Billeck writes that moving the forward would likely be a major mistake for a franchise who still needs as many scoring forwards as the can get. The scribe looks at Ehlers’ A3Z statistics, which refers to his play in all three zones and compares him to Edmonton’s Connor McDavid. While pointing out that you can’t compare the two as overall players, Ehlers’s A3Z statistics suggest that he is a dominant player in comparison to McDavid in certain situations. McDavid is in the 99 percentile in shots contributed over 60 minutes, while Ehlers finds himself in the 97th percentile. Ehlers shot-assist ratio over 60 minutes suggest he’s in the 91st percentile in the league, suggesting he could take his game up a notch soon.
Therefore trading Ehlers to ease some of the team’s cap concerns or replace him with a defender, could quickly become a mistake.
- Greg Hardwig of the Naples Daily News reports that Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi, who is entering the final year of his contract and will be a highly sought after unrestricted free agent next summer, reiterated Friday that he wants to remain with the Predators. “I never made it secret that I’d like to stay in Nashville,” said Josi. “I think we’re talking a little bit over the summer, and I’ll let my agent deal with that and just focus on getting ready for the season.” Josi could see an even bigger role this season after the team traded P.K. Subban to New Jersey, giving more responsibility to the team’s top three blueliners, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm and Josi.
- The Dallas Stars have made a number of big additions this summer with many suggesting the Stars could be Stanley Cup contenders this season. However, the team has one unknown that could have a significant effect on the team’s future in Stephen Johns. The 27-year-old looked like he was developing into a solid blueliner after the 2017-18 season, but instead missed the entire season last year due to post-traumatic headaches. Now cleared, Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks wonders whether he can step in immediately as the team’s No. 4 defenseman this season. If Johns can prove he’s ready to go, the 6-foot-4, 225 pound blueliner might be the perfect complement to 20-year-old Miro Heiskanen.