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Wheeler the poster boy for inconsistency

The Sports Xchange

--Winnipeg's top point-getter this season, RW Blake Wheeler, summed up the rollercoaster season that the Jets experienced. Wheeler ended up with 63 points, but amazingly he went 18 games to start the season without a goal and finished the campaign without a tally in his last 13 contests.

That's the kind of inconsistency that plagued the Jets all year long, and he is a prime example of someone who needs to take his game to the next level if the team is going to as well. Wheeler is their top forward.

"There's a little ways to go with him, where he's going to find himself, where he's gonna eventually land," head coach Claude Noel said. "But I think next season his goals will be a little heavier than the goals he scored this year, because he had a slow start, to a degree, so I think you'll see some changes there. From his own personal goals, he'll want to do more there."

--The names with which he is now associated certainly make it intriguing. LW Evander Kane became just the ninth player since the lockout to score 30 goals in a season before turning 21. Some of the other players on the list are people NHL fans may have heard of: Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos.

Kane is intriguing himself. He spent most of the season on the second line, not having to face top checkers like the other young stars who have hit 30 at age 20. His passing skills are somewhat questionable, and he had social media issues early in the season.

He appears to have grown, however, both on the ice and off of it. He's a restricted free agent, but he's probably not quite worth what other 30-goal scorers make. It'll be interesting to see the salary and terms that are agreed upon, or if the Jets want him back and vice-versa.

"People talk about, Well, just blow it up. How do you do that? Players don't fall off trees. You either gotta make them or you gotta develop them or you gotta do something. In the market we're at we want to get better. I'm gonna want to get better next year. I'm not happy with 85 points. I'm gonna want to get to 96, 97. I'll be sounding like a broken record." -- Head coach Claude Noel on Winnipeg's future.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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