On Friday the Winnipeg Free Press posted an article that had Kevin Cheveldayoff answering several questions about the state of the Winnipeg Jets goaltending depth. With still several questions to be answered in goal, the Jets now prepare for next weekends 2012 NHL Draft where
teams look to select the next crop of NHL superstars on June 22-23, 2012 at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
Written by Ed Tait:
When it comes to the Jets' goaltending, there are some meaty question marks, what with No. 1 man Ondrej Pavelec not only a restricted free agent but drawing interest from the KHL -- negotiating ploy or not -- and with veteran backup Chris Mason scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in just over two weeks.
Yet all of that hardly seems to be setting off alarm bells with Cheveldayoff, who is said to be negotiating with Pavelec's agent and has a number of options -- be they in free agency or the promotion of Eddie Pasquale from St. John's -- should Mason not return.
Here's Chevy's take on the state of the Jets' goaltending:
"Ondrej had a great year and we rode him pretty hard with the number of games played. We hope that Ondrej can keep improving and taking his game to the next level, because we certainly need what he brings to the table to achieve our goals.
"And with Chris, there's obviously options available to both sides at this point.
"From a depth standpoint, we drafted Jason Kasdorf last year and he's going to go to college, and that will let him develop and continue, so that makes him more of a longer-term project. Eddie Pasquale got the opportunity this year around mid-season to become the No. 1 goalie in St. John's and take the ball and run with it.
"We had another young goaltender in the ECHL (Chris Carozzi) that is going to continue to develop and push himself into the situation where he can push at the American league level."
What's in the Jets' system?
ONDREJ PAVELEC: He seemed to wear down from the workload by the end of the season, but there's no underestimating his value to the organization. The numbers don't highlight his value enough, as on many nights he was facing more quality scoring chances than some of his NHL rivals might see in a week of games. FYI: Age: 24; 2011-12 numbers: W-L-T: 29-28-9; 2.91 GAA; .906 save percentage; four shutouts. Contract: A restricted free agent who just finished the final year of a deal that paid him $1.3 million.
CHRIS MASON: At a career crossroads. Wants to play more, but is clearly the No. 2 man here. He shouldn't be measured solely by the stats. He's a leader in the room and a mentor for Pavelec. FYI: Age: 36; 2011-12 numbers: W-L-T: 8-7-1; 2.59 GAA; .898 save percentage; 2 shutouts. Contract: An unrestricted free agent who just completed the final year of a deal that paid him $2.1 million.
EDDIE PASQUALE: Fourth-round pick in 2009; had a bust-out year in St. John's, going 23-12-1 with a 2.41 GAA and .927 save percentage in the regular season and was stellar in the playoffs. Stand-up goaltender who plays angles well and uses his size (6-2, 218) to cover the net. Still just 21, some think he'd be best served with a full year in St. John's as the No. 1 puck-stopper -- he grabbed that role in January -- but he could force himself into the picture with the big club.
On the Rock / In the minors
DAVID AEBISCHER: Now 34 and an unrestricted free agent, Aebischer finished the year in St. John's as Pasquale's backup. Uncertain future in the organization.
CHRIS CARROZZI: Former sixth-round pick is still on the team's radar. Was assigned to the ECHL's Ontario Reign to get more ice time and had a 2.27 GAA and .922 save percentage.
PETER MANNINO: Finished the season with Portland after being loaned to the Pirates by the IceCaps. Technically, still Jets' property, but likely not in their future.
In the system
JASON KASDORF, DES MOINES (USHL): Winnipeg product and former Portage Terrier is committed to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute next year. Was 10-16-5 with a 3.43 GAA and three shutouts on a Des Moines team that finished third-last in the USHL.
For the full article from the Winnipeg Free Press Click Here