NHL Team Guide: Winnipeg Jets

NHL Team Guide: Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets were founded in 1999 as the Atlanta Thrashers. The team was sold in 2011 and moved to Winnipeg that year. The franchise was renamed the Jets after the original Winnipeg team that was part of the old WHA and had merged into the NHL. The old Jets relocated to Phoenix after the 1995-96 season to become the Coyotes.

Winnipeg fans can watch Jets games on TV on a variety of networks and devices. The Jets appear on CBC national broadcasts in Canada and on NBC’s suite of networks for national telecasts in the U.S. The Jets can be viewed on NBC, NBCSN and CNBC. Winnipeg fans can watch most of the Jets NHL schedule on regional network TSN3. Jets’ games are also available via live streaming at NHL.com and on YouTubeTV.

NHL Standings

When the franchise moved from Atlanta to Winnipeg, the Jets remained in the old Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference. When the NHL finally realigned in 2013, Winnipeg was moved to its current home in the Central Division of the Western Conference.

Championship History

Since moving to Winnipeg prior to the 2011-12 NHL season, the Jets have only made the postseason three times. They have yet to record a division championship. The Jets came close in 2012-13 when they finished second in the old Southeast Division. Winnipeg also finished second in the Central Division in 2017-18.

The franchise did win a division title in 2006-07 as the Atlanta Thrashers. The team won the Southeast Division and was then swept by the New York Rangers in the conference quarterfinals. The Jets have never participated in either a conference final or a Stanley Cup final.

Home of the Jets

Winnipeg plays its home NHL schedule at the Bell MTS Centre, which is located in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Bell MTS Centre opened in 2004 as the home of the Jets’ AHL affiliate the Manitoba Moose. The arena seats 15,321 for hockey games.

Best of the Jets

The leading scorer in Jets franchise history is Ilya Kovalchuk, who scored 328 goals and totaled 615 points in his eight seasons. Kovalchuk was the first overall pick of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. He played all eight seasons in Atlanta. In 2003-04, Kovalchuk won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer with 41 goals. He also set a franchise best for single-season goals when he netted 52 in both 2005-06 and 2007-08.

Blake Wheeler was the fifth overall pick in the 2004 NHL draft. He began his career in Boston and was traded to the Thrashers in the 2010-11 season. Wheeler is now second behind Kovalchuk on the Jets all-time scoring list. He has a total of 586 points. His 390 assists are the best in Jets history. At his current pace of 0.92 points per game, Wheeler would soon pass Kovalchuk for the top spot.

Wheeler’s teammate, Bryan Little, is the franchise’s third-leading scorer. Little is second in career goals (215) and career assists (301) for a total of 516 points. He was drafted 12th overall by Atlanta back in 2006.

Author: Winnipeg Jets