As the first edition of the Jets All Out Top 25 starts tomorrow, we have decided to show the next of the best. That is (if that made any sense), the players who almost made the cut and we could potentially see cracking the Top 25 next season.
Tomorrow, we will start at the 25th best Jet in the lineup, but here are out Honourable Mentions:
Derek Meech, 27, D, 5’11, 200 lbs
As a native Winnipegger, Derek Meech’s search to make an NHL club full time is beginning anew in Winnipeg after he was not able to crack the Detroit Red Wings lineup full time, playing in a career high 49 games before the Wings let him go. Known more as a two-way defenseman, Meech bows just under the Top 25 Jets because he has not yet found a full-time job in the NHL despite his tenure with the Wings. Though, he could become a sixth or seventh defenseman on a very deep Jets depth chart.
Mark Flood, 26, D, 6’1, 190 lbs
Former Moose defenseman and New York Islanders defenseman as well, Mark Flood has six NHL games under his belt, which he played during the 2009-10 season, collecting an assist and a minus four rating. Flood has tremendous potential as a two-way defenseman who can quarterback a secondary power play unit. He showed that with both the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers and more recently with the Moose, with 40 points in 63 games in 2010-11.
Jason Gregoire, 22, LW, 6’1, 196 lbs
Newly signed and Manitoba native Jason Gregoire is looking to cement himself as an NHL player. A former New York Islander pick (3rd round, 76th overall in 2007), Gregoire was one of the best players for the last three seasons with the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux. His point totals increased ever season with UND, as he finished third in Sioux scoring in 2010-11 with 43 points and second in goals with 25. Gregoire makes the honourable mentions because of his potential and he may drop out of it next year if he does not live up to expectations in his development in the AHL, where will probably start the 2011-12 season.
Kenndal McArdle, 24, LW, 5’11, 190 lbs
McArdle almost doesn’t make the honourable mentions because of his lack of coming to his potential as a former first round pick. McArdle has only 33 games under his belt, which is very low for a former 20th overall pick by the Florida Panthers in 2005. McArdle has also seen limited success in the AHL and still is trying to find his way back to possibly changing his game to become a grinder at the NHL level.
Andrey Zubarev, 24, D, 6’1, 210 lbs
At 6’1, 210 pounds, Andrey Zubarev made his North American debut last season with the Chicago Wolves of the AHL and showed his defensive style, collecting 13 points in 51 games with the Wolves. He was called up at the end of the season and played in four games for Atlanta, registering one assist and four penalty minutes along with a minus four rating. Zubarev is a long shot to make the Jets defense this season, but his continued development in the AHL will help his defensive abilities on both sides of the puck.