Winnipeg Jets 2024 Off-Season Preview

Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets have a lot of work to do before the 2024-25 season. Here’s the 2024 off-season preview.

By The Numbers:

The Winnipeg Jets have a lot of factors to consider this off-season, including filling roster spots and re-signing crucial restricted free agents (RFA) and unrestricted free agents (UFA) while also finding key players in free agency.

The following list includes the Manitoba Moose players who are signed to NHL contracts.

Expiring Unrestricted Free Agents: 12
Expiring Restricted Free Agents Without Arbitration Rights: Four
Expiring Restricted Free Agents With Arbitration Rights: Three

Projected Cap Space: $13,352,976
Dead Cap Space: $2.75 million

Unrestricted Free Agents

Tyler Toffoli

Toffoli, 32, was acquired at the trade deadline for a 2024 third-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick. In 18 regular season games for Winnipeg, Toffoli posted 11 points (7G, 4A). In five playoff games, he posted two goals and points.

Toffoli will likely test the free-agent market as Winnipeg needs to sign other key players this off-season. With Toffoli likely demanding a hefty price tag, it will be hard to let go of him, but business is business and Toffoli was a solid rental for the Winnipeg Jets.

Sean Monahan

Monahan, 29, was acquired in early February for a 2024 first-round pick and a conditional 2027 third-round pick. The third-round pick did not transfer as the conditions for Winnipeg winning the 2024 Stanley Cup were not met.

In 34 regular season games for Winnipeg, Monahan scored 24 points (13G, 11A). In five playoff games, he posted one assist and point.

Monahan is likely to re-sign with the Winnipeg Jets should both sides agree to a reasonable sum of money. Additionally, Monahan expressed his desire to stay in Winnipeg during his season-end media availability. However, with July 1st quickly approaching and other teams willing to pay for a solid second-line center, it wouldn’t be surprising if Monahan is signed to another team as Winnipeg has limited cap space.

Brendan Dillon

Dillon, 33, just wrapped up his third season with the Winnipeg Jets scoring a career-high in goals (8) and finishing the season with 20 points (8G, 12A). In three playoff games, he posted three assists and points. Dillon posted a plus-minus of plus-20 and 92 penalty minutes.

The big and physical defenseman stands at 6-foot-4 and will likely command a hefty pricetag that the Winnipeg Jets will be unlikely to meet. Teams will certainly be calling on Brendan Dillon come July 1st as his play style is hard to find, especially in free agency.

Dylan DeMelo

DeMelo, 31, posted a career-high in assists (28), points (31), and plus-minus with a plus-46. This was DeMelo’s fourth full season since coming to Winnipeg and he’s been spectacular since being paired with Josh Morrissey.

DeMelo is likely a UFA priority as Kevin Cheveldayoff will want to keep his top-pairing on defence intact heading into the 2024-25 season. As noted with the previous UFA’s, money talks and DeMelo will likely receive an offer from another team that is highly lucrative. However, like Monahan, DeMelo expressed in his season-end media availability that he wants to stay in Winnipeg and is expecting a second child in August. DeMelo also noted that he’d prefer not to uproot the lives of his family on July 1st.

Colin Miller

Miller, 31, was acquired at the trade deadline for a 2026 fourth-round pick. In five regular-season games for the Winnipeg Jets, Miller posted one assist and one point. In one playoff game, he posted one assist and point.

Miller wasn’t utilized entirely as much as he could’ve been. Dubbed as one of the original Vegas misfits, he’s been a solid depth defenseman ever since joining the NHL with the Boston Bruins in the 2015-16 season. He will most likely be a UFA signing for another team that needs depth at the defensive position, but if one of DeMelo and Dillon does not re-sign in Winnipeg, I could see him returning with an expanded role to the team to provide depth and stability.

Laurent Brossoit

Brossoit, 31, re-signed with the Winnipeg Jets in the 2023 NHL off-season during the free agency period. In 23 regular season games for the Jets, Brossoit posted a 2.00 goals against average (GAA) and a 0.927 save percentage (SV%). Both of which are true career highs for the veteran goaltender.

Brossoit was two games short of capturing the William M. Jennings Trophy with goaltender Connor Hellebuyck for the lowest goals against in the NHL. Hellebuyck received the trophy, but the two goaltenders are happy to share it I’m sure.

Unfortunately for Jets fans, Brossoit will likely be finding a new home this off-season unless his contract demands are around the same price tag as the contract he signed on July 1st, 2023. With Thomas Milic preparing to get some NHL games in the 2024-25 season, the Jets will likely opt to sign a couple of cheap goaltenders to help stabilize the position depth.

Collin Delia

Delia, 29, was signed during the 2023 free agency period as depth and injury insurance should something catastrophic happen to the Winnipeg Jets or the Manitoba Moose. While he didn’t put up career numbers, Collin Delia was a steady locker-room presence and a solid 1B option when Thomas Milic took the 1A spot.

If the Jets re-sign Collin Delia, he will likely stay with the Manitoba Moose as the backup goaltender. If he walks to free agency, he will still find a landing spot as goaltenders are always in demand and a team can never have too much goaltender depth nowadays.

Restricted Free Agents

Cole Perfetti

Perfetti, 22, is in a unique situation as a restricted free agent. He doesn’t have arbitration rights, but he played 71 games, which is a career-high where scored a career-high 38 points (19G, 19A) in that time. His goal total also happens to be a career-high.

It shouldn’t be a terribly long negotiation to re-sign the young forward, but when you realize Kurt Overhardt is his agent, it might become a little messy. Overhardt has a history of tough negotiations with any general manager, but it seems to be amplified with Kevin Cheveldayoff for some reason.

Perfetti has a significant future with the Winnipeg Jets and could be a player they build around. Rick Bowness, former head coach of the team, wanted to really push the young forward to new heights. Perfetti found himself in-and-out of the lineup where he was healthy scratched 11 times and spent the majority of the season in the bottom six. Additionally, when Perfetti did find a fit with the team, he would be pushed by Bowness to reach new heights. Ultimately, Perfetti would unfortunately find himself scratched or demoted to the bottom six.

David Gustafsson

Gustafsson, 24, is one of two RFA-eligible players with arbitration status in the Jets’ off-season. Gustafsson hails from Tingsryd, Sweden and has spent parts of the last five years with the Winnipeg Jets. It is unsure what the future holds for him, but seeing other prospects for the Jets sign overseas and back home, Gustafsson might join the list of players who sign overseas if he sees fit.

In his 2023-24 campaign, he posted seven points (3G, 4G) in 39 games for Winnipeg while also playing four playoff games and scoring one goal for the team. Gustafsson’s deployment has been less than ideal, but the depth forward is a strong piece of the Winnipeg Jets regardless.

Drafted 60th overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, time is slowly ticking away for Gustafsson to make an impact, but he’s got his NHL spot. He’s played on the Jets’ second penalty kill unit and found his stride this season, but beyond, Gustafsson is likely to find a larger role if he can work for it, but for now, his contract status remains up in the air.

Logan Stanley

Stanley, 25, showed significant signs of positive development later in the 2023-24 season. These developments that Stanley showed netted him three Stanley Cup Playoffs games this year before the Jets’ eventual elimination.

The 2016 18th overall draft selection hasn’t had an easy start since joining the NHL, he’s found himself in the press box, but he’s also slow to develop. Does that ring a bell to a similar tall defenseman? Zdeno Chara was slow to develop, but once he did, he was one of the most physically imposing defensemen for years.

I’m not saying Stanley will be the next Chara, I’m just saying that sometimes it takes time with players and the Winnipeg Jets would hate to trade him away and Stanley becomes excellent elsewhere. That’s the risk you take with any player, but with arbitration rights and needing a new role, Logan Stanley might not be in the navy blue and white next year, but who’s to say?

Predicting Who Stays and Who Goes?

It’s hard to say who will say and who will go, but it’s easier to give predictions.

Who Stays?

Sean Monahan, David Gustafsson, Dylan DeMelo, Colin Miller & Logan Stanley.

Who Goes?

Tyler Toffoli, Cole Perfetti, Brendan Dillon, Laurent Brossoit & Collin Delia.

I’m not going to go super in-depth for each player (or at least try not to), but the Winnipeg Jets have some serious decisions to make this off-season, so I’m going to address the players in short form.

Predicting Who Stays?

Sean Monahan: The Jets need a proven second-line center for the short term while Brad Lambert develops. Monahan on a one-year deal for around $4 million makes sense.

David Gustafsson: The Jets require keeping their depth as strong as it has been. Gustafsson is a crucial part of the bottom six and would be an incredibly hard loss for the team.

Dylan DeMelo: The defensive partner of Josh Morrissey, DeMelo has been an anchor for the Winnipeg Jets on defence. Arguably the most underappreciated defenseman Winnipeg has, DeMelo and his plus-46 on the season will be an asset for Winnipeg to bring back into their lineup.

Colin Miller: I think Miller re-signs contingent on the Jets and him reaching an agreement where he plays x amount of games and sits in the pressbox for the remainder of the season. He’s a solid depth defenseman and didn’t look out of place for Winnipeg.

Logan Stanley: I touched on the Stanley part mentioning the Chara similarity development-wise, but it’s a never-say-never situation for him. He may want out as he would want to get a bigger role sooner rather than later. However, if the Jets can keep him, he could be a strong part of the youth movement for the team.

Predicting Who Goes?

Tyler Toffoli: Unlike Sean Monahan, Toffoli was a pure rental for the team. He came in to try and propel the Jets to achieve their Stanley Cup dreams, but unfortunately, he joined the team in a first-round exit. With limited cap space, Toffoli is projected to test the UFA market.

Cole Perfetti: I think I nailed this previously with the mention of the agent that Perfetti has currently. Young talent needs to fight for their spots, but Perfetti would find his stride and be pushed down the lineup promptly. Perfetti might be inclined to sign a one-year deal and play with the team under the new head coach but with the process likely taking a longer projected time, Perfetti may ask for a change of scenery.

Brendan Dillon: It’s hard to keep everyone, Dillon has voiced his frustrations for not receiving his contract extension before the end of the season. Now, Scott Billeck has reported that the veteran physical defenseman will likely be hitting the UFA market on July 1st. He also adds that Dillon’s camp remains hopeful something can work out. The team has so much depth that they can’t keep pushing down forever.

Laurent Brossoit: Like the Perfetti prediction, my review of Brossoit will likely see him sign elsewhere due to the Winnipeg Jets signing Thomas Milic to his entry-level contract. Brossoit put up some pretty solid numbers, and unless he wants to finish his career in a 1A/1B situation for the Jets’ backup goaltender position. Brossoit will likely leave again as the Jets don’t have much cap space this off-season with key players to re-sign.

Collin Delia: Delia came in to add depth and stability to the goaltending position for the Jets. While he spent the entire season in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose and posted less-than-ideal numbers, his locker room presence is what the team loved. If Delia gets an offer elsewhere to play, he will take it. I don’t see him re-signing with the organization with the projected promotions player-wise next year with Oskari Salminen and Domenic DiVincentiis likely being the goaltenders for Manitoba.

Which Manitoba Moose Players Are Due to be Promoted?

There’s a handful of Manitoba Moose players that I’ve covered and seen play and have a feeling they are due a promotion, but there are only 23 available spots on the roster.

Parker Ford: Ford was one of the last people to be cut in the 2023-24 season training camp. He might not play a full 82 games with the Jets, but the development Ford underwent this past season makes him deserving of a promotion. 41 points (18G, 23A) in 72 games is a really solid stat line to have heading into your second NHL training camp.

Nikita Chibrikov: Chibrikov was one of two players to make their NHL debut in the final game of the 2023-24 season. He scored his first career NHL goal and point against the Vancouver Canucks on April 18th in a 4-2 win and it promised a lot in the future of the young stars that the Jets have ready to bring into the fold. In Chibrikov’s 2023-24 season with the Moose, he scored 47 points (17G, 30A) in 70 games which is an impressive stat line for his first full season in North America.

Brad Lambert: Lambert was the second of two players to make their NHL debut in the final game of the 2023-24 season. While Lambert didn’t score his first career NHL goal as Chibrikov did, he did notch his first career NHL assist and point against the Vancouver Canucks on April 18th. Both Lambert and Chibrikov did not look out of place in this game and provided a bright glimpse at the future of the Winnipeg Jets. In Lambert’s 2023-24 season with the Moose, he found his footing where he scored 55 points (21G, 34A) in 64 games. Lambert was also named to the AHL All-Rookie Team and the AHL All-Star Game for his performance.

Ville Heinola: Heinola was set to make the Winnipeg Jets out of training camp, but an ankle injury in the final preseason game set him back to another season with the Manitoba Moose. In 41 games with the Moose this season, Heinola posted 27 points (10G, 17A) and had a plus-minus of plus-six. Given that his 2024-25 training camp and preseason are just as dominant, Heinola is due to make the Winnipeg Jets and become a regular in the lineup.

Kyle Capobianco: The 26-year-old Capobianco really took a step forward in his game this year being the most dominant two-way defenseman that the Manitoba Moose had. He played 69 games where he posted 54 points (12G, 42A) and had a plus-minus of plus-29. Capobianco has been an anchor of defence for the Moose and will likely get his shot at the NHL level with the Jets as the team’s seventh defenseman. If not, Capobianco will most likely be the number-one defenseman for the Moose again.

Thomas Milic: Milic started the season with a bit of AHL action where he didn’t look so great, but he played 18 games with the Norfolk Admirals in the ECHL where he posted a win-loss record of 11-3-2 complimented with a 2.45 goals-against average (GAA) and a .908 save percentage (SV%). Milic would find his way back to the Moose where he then dominated the number-one goaltender position for the team. He posted a 2.72 GAA and a .900 SV% and finished his 33 games with a win-loss record of 19-9-2. Milic had one shutout in the AHL and two in the ECHL and he would sign his entry-level contract soon after the 2023-24 season had wrapped up. This is a no-brainer promotion to have the 21-year-old goaltender learn from the veteran Connor Hellebuyck would be a great duo to have in net in the 2024-25 season should Milic make the Jets.

Conrad Jack

Conrad Jack is a lifelong hockey fan who is now actively writing for Inside The Rink covering primarily the Winnipeg Jets and the entire NHL second. He also covers the latest NHL News & Rumors, the NHL Entry Draft, and so much more for Inside The Rink.

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