Making the playoffs last season for the first time since 2006-07 — when the franchise played in Atlanta and was known as the Thrashers — the Winnipeg Jets appear to have things heading in the right direction: with several young prospects working their way into roles in the NHL lineup.
The recent promotion of Mark Hillier to Director of Amateur Scouting from Head Amateur Scout seems like a small change in terms of title. Under Marcel Comeau’s direction since 2003, the Atlanta Thrashers amassed a mixed record – as all teams do. Since relocation however, the team had begun to separate from the pack. How much is due to Hillier’s input versus Comeau or others is unclear, but the Winnipeg Jets now find themselves with one of the deepest collections of young talent in the NHL.
The Winnipeg Jets defied the odds this season with their never say die mentality, overcoming injury and hardship on their way to edging out the defending Stanley Cup Champions and clinching the franchise’s first playoff appearance since its return to Winnipeg. The return of playoff hockey after its nearly 20 year hiatus from Winnipeg has reignited the burning passion of the fan base, making one thing clear moving forward: simply making the playoffs is not enough anymore.