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Recently the JetsNation team put together a list of the most memorable moments of the last ten years of Winnipeg Jets / Atlanta Thrashers hockey. We came up with about 15 in total ranging from no-brainers like the day Mark Chipman announced the return of the NHL to the city of Winnipeg, to understated moments such as the fight filled affair in Nashville where an angry and frustrated Jets squad filled up the penalty box against a Predators club that was just starting to become a major team rival.

With our list in hand, we turned to all of you to help us narrow the list to ten iconic moments and memories that will last with us well beyond December 31, 2019. This is the fourth part of our five part series where we go over the top ten (in no particular order) and highlight what made each moment stand out and our memories of them.

You can check out part one here: “A Flying W And Laine’s Five”

You can check out part two here: “Regina Heritage Classic And Teemu’s Return”

Part three is here: “Big Buff’s Winnipeg Introduction And The First Playoff Run”

We also encourage to share your favorite moments and memories on the comments below or on our our Twitter or Facebook pages. We may highlight them in a post in the new year/decade!

“The Jets Draft Laine”

Spring 2016: Jets win a draft lotto and with the second overall pick, take Patrik Laine

The 2015-16 season was a frustrating one for the Winnipeg Jets and their fans. A year earlier the team had made the playoffs for the first time since it’s move north and with the collection of talent they had, it seemed like the team was going to be better and a return trip surely was in the cards, but the Jets finished the season with a 35-39-8 record good for seventh in the Central division.

Fans by the midpoint of the season had already accepted their team’s fate and while not rooting for losses on a nightly basis, wins late in the season were not exactly helping their chance at a good draft position. A draft that featured game changing talent in the form of Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine and Pierre-Luc Dubois. Funny enough, the Jets ended the season on a four game win streak. A feel good ending for sure, but an ending that boosted Winnipeg out of the bottom five of the standings and lowering the chances of a top draft pick.

Under the old draft lottery rules, the Jets wouldn’t have had a chance at a top three pick, but thanks to new draft lotto process that the league put in a year earlier in reaction to the Oilers always finding a way to win it, the NHL made sure that all teams in the lotto had a shot regardless of where they finished. Still though, that meant the Jets only had a less than 10 per cent chance each of claiming a top three pick.

But yet…

After the Toronto Maple Leafs won the first overall pick, the second drawing was made and the numbers 5, 10, 7 and 14 were drawn and Winnipeg was called out as having claimed the second draw.

From there it was a matter of waiting a couple of months before the Jets could make their pick. While there was some very fleeting thoughts that maybe the Leafs would pass on Matthews, or that the Jets were leaning towards Jesse Puljujarvi, the truth was it was always going to be Patrik Laine that was going to go second overall.

The Jets going into the draft had a strong prospect pool that had names like Kyle Connor, Josh Morrissey and Nikolaj Ehlers and young stars like Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba. Adding a pure sniper like Laine was an incredible boost that helped accelerate the Jets return to the NHL playoffs.


“Hatrick Laine Beats Auston And The Leafs”

October 19, 2016: Patrik Laine’s first career hat trick sparks Jets comeback win over Toronto

With the draft done and Auston Matthews picked by the Toronto Maple Leafs while Patrik Laine picked by the Winnipeg Jets, as soon as the schedule came out the first meeting between the two two picks of the 2016 draft was circled on the calendar.

Not only was the game set to be a battle of the NHL’s two newest stars, but during the summer the Jets announced that it would also be the night the officially inducted Jets WHA legends Anders Hedberg, Bobby Hull and Ulf Nilsson – the trio known as “The Hot Line” back in the mid to late 1970’s – as part of their new Jets Hall Of Fame. The stage set for a memorable night, and while the pre-game cerimonies were nice, what happened during the game will go down as one of the most memorable Jets regular season games ever.

The Maple Leafs raced out to a 2-0 lead after the first period and then took advantage of a couple of bad Jets penalties in the second period with two power play goals eight seconds apart to get a 4-0 lead on the Jets a little under halfway through the game. None of those goals were scored by Auston Matthews, but he did have an assist on the third goal scored by William Nylander.

That is when the Jets mounted the comeback.

Defenseman Tyler Myers scored to get the Jets on the board and as the second period ended, the Jets trailed 4-1 but at least they had a little bit of life and an outside chance to get back into the game.

Then Patrik Laine took over. Laine scored his second goal of the season a minute into the final frame to get the Jets within two. Five minutes after that Mark Scheifele made it a one goal game. The Jets carried a large part of play for the third and for a moment it looked like Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen was going to keep the Leafs ahead, but then Morgan Rielly took a cross checking penalty with a minute left in the game and on cue Laine scored his second of the night to tie things up.

An unreal comeback was followed by a crazy overtime and a dramatic finishing sequence as both Matthews and Laine each got a turn at ending the game. Auston was stopped on his chance by Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson, Laine got the puck right after and made no mistake on his chance, beating Andersen and earning not just his first ever career hat trick, but a massive comeback victory over the Maple Leafs.