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Winnipeg Jets: Most Pressing Needs Heading into the Draft

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 20:  Dustin Byfuglien #33 of the Winnipeg Jets looks on against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on March 20, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
Anthony CapocciContributor IMay 10, 2012

The draft is still over a month away, but it’s a day where the Jets will look to fill some pressing needs.

As of now, the most important need for this team is a stay-at-home defenseman—someone who can play shut-down defense in a consistent and dominant manner.

The Jets current roster doesn’t feature any type of shut-down defenseman. In fact, through all of its years, I’m not sure this franchise ever even had a shut-down defenseman.

One thing that this team does have is great offensive-defensemen and stellar two-way defensemen who can play in all three zones. But none of them are considered shut-down players and that’s because none of them are.

Sure the Jets have some stay-at-home defensemen who do a good job in their own zone, but they don’t have that player who can dominantly shut someone down shift after shift.

It’s time the Jets go out and look for one.

The Jets were ranked in the bottom five of the league allowing 2.95 goals per game. A major part on why that statistic exists is because of the lack of defense. It’s simple: you need defense to win games or at least be competitive in this league.

Getting a top-notch defensive-defenseman is the most pressing need going into the draft. It’s a priority that I believe they’ll try and fill with their first-round pick.

But the Jets aren’t perfect and there are other needs they have to fill as well. Things are starting to differ from years past. Throughout the years, the Jets' main need was a top line center. Maybe the need for that still exists, but it’s not anywhere near as close to being the top priority that it was.

Right now as far as forwards go, the Jets' main need is a goal scorer. It’ll be hard to snag a complete goal scorer in the latter rounds, but this need isn’t as pressing as a defensive need.

The Jets have a guy who has potential to score 40+ goals in Evander Kane. They have other players who can develop into top goal scorers. And although it’s not as pressing as other needs, it’s never a bad idea to have too much talent up front.

But right now, the need that matters most is a shut-down defenseman. All eyes will be on drafting one when that time arrives.

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