Winnipeg Jets: What Type Of Role Will Michael Frolik Serve?

By Randy Holt
Michael Frolik
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Winnipeg Jets have quietly made a couple of significant trades in the past week, surrendering draft picks in order to acquire a couple of forwards, in Devon Setoguchi and Michael Frolik. The former is no mystery as to what type of role he’ll serve. He’s an offensive threat. As for Frolik, that’s where things get a little more intriguing.

The Jets acquired Frolik from the Chicago Blackhawks, who sent him off as he was about to head into the last year of his deal. He was a key piece of their Stanley Cup run, serving as the primary penalty killer, along with Marcus Kruger. He logged heavy minutes while a man down, and helped the Hawks to one of the best PK units in the game.

It was something of a reinvention of Frolik, who needed to change his game if he was going to get playing time after disappointing on offense in his first season and a half with the Hawks. He came over as a deadline acquisition after two consecutive 20-goal seasons to start his career in Florida. The offensive output didn’t follow him to the Windy City.

But the potential is there. Keep in mind, he’s served primarily in the bottom six with the Blackhawks, which doesn’t exactly help his offensive situation. His shooting percentage has also been in a state of free fall since he left South Beach, going from 13 and 10 percent in his first two seasons, to barely over three in his time with Chicago.

What type of role the Jets plan to put him in at this point isn’t clear. He definitely deserves a shot to succeed in an offensive role; he’s too skilled of a player to keep on a fourth line full time. The Jets could use the extra help on offense, but whether or not there’s room for him in the top six remains to be seen.

If not, the Jets are getting one of the hardest-working players anywhere in the league. He skates his tail off on every shift and will kill penalties with the best of them. He’s an asset to have around. Whether or not he’ll be an offensive asset with the Jets, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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