JETS SNAPSHOTS: Jets happy with Heinola?s development despite spending plenty of time on taxi squad

Winnipeg Jets rookie defenceman Ville Heinola.

As the shortened 56-game schedule and playoffs wore on, it became more and more apparent that the Winnipeg Jets were not ready to make Ville Heinola a full-time NHL player.

Heinola, a 20-year-old defenceman who was picked in the first round of the NHL draft by the Jets in 2019, appeared in only five regular season games for the Jets in 2021 and didn’t see any time in the playoffs.

He spent a lot of time on the Jets’ taxi squad, but he also managed to play 19 games with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL, 19 games with Lukko of the Finnish league and seven games with Team Finland and the world junior hockey championship.

Because he only played five NHL games, his entry level contract will not kick in until next season, but Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said that wasn’t part of the team’s overall strategy with the young blue-liner.

“We really didn’t even focus on that at all,” Cheveldayoff said in his year-end media availability on Friday. “It was something where I told every

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