With the age of most of the core players on the Jets, most of the future is already in Winnipeg but looking at what True North did with the Moose for the Canucks the past 10 years you can bet they will want St. John’s to do for them.
Most of the moves and players acquired in this off season have been minor league or two-way deals to help stock pile the IceCaps and create a system that is designed to give the Jets lots of call up options going forward.
Only two of the players signed for the purpose of playing in St. John’s are older then 27 (King 29, Jaffray 30) and those two players were brought in to help lead and develop the young guys while being possible call ups themselves. The other players are all young and filled with potential so make no mistake the team in St. John’s will be younger then the team in Winnipeg.
IceCaps fans will be treated to an uptempo game in the same style of play that the Jets uses to make it easier for their players when they do get a crack to play with the Jets. True North is committed to building from within and they have shown that by putting an emphasis on building the roster in St. John’s with players they like.
They took a Chicago Wolves team that relied on veteran AHL players and after an overhaul have their farm system in place. Gone is Jason Krog (35) the former captain and team leader last year with 85 points. There was just no place for him in St. John’s and his -18 and poor defensive play.
While a good goal scorer Krog has played for True North before in one season with the Moose and then was let go. He’s not the type of player they are looking for and certainly not the guy they want their prospects to look up to and learn from.
There’s a reason why former Moose players have been signed and that’s because True North knows what type of player they are getting and those are the guys with character and work ethic and the type of player they want in their system.
The first season in St. John’s might be a little trying at sometimes as there will be a lot of new faces on this former Wolves team but I promise you one thing, once everyone buys into the system and when the players start to gel it’ll be exciting hockey in St. John’s for many years to come and you will share in the joy of Winnipeg fans when you see prospects develop to go on to be the next Ryan Kessler or Kevin Bieksa and help lead the Jets toward the promise land.
The Future starts on the farm and unlike so many other NHL teams that panic and look for a quick fix I don’t see True North and the Jets mortgaging the farm just to make the playoffs.