Paul Postma: A Bigger Opportunity Arises for Winnipeg Jets Prospect

Anthony CapocciContributor IAugust 30, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 06: Paul Postma #38 of the Winnipeg Jets skates against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on November 6, 2011 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Jets 3-0.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

News broke this afternoon regarding the status of Winnipeg Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian for the coming season. The Jets announced today on Twitter that Bogosian will undergo surgery this Friday to help repair an injured wrist.

While reports have varied, Bogosian is expected to miss at least three months, but he could miss up to six. Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press reports that Bogosian will miss at least four months. Regardless of exact timetables, what we do know for sure is that Bogosian will not be ready for quite a while.

This is a huge loss for the Jets' organization. Focused on living up to the expectations of a third draft pick overall, Bogosian started to find his stride again last season. With a long-term injury that will sit him out for months, Bogosian will likely take a step back, though it may be a small one.

There is still a lot of hope that Bogosian will once again find his game, and he'll still have plenty of time to do it as a Jet. With that having been said, the Jets will certainly miss Bogosian's services, but now attention has to shift to other matters at hand.

The Jets have to evaluate what they have now.

First things first: While the Jets will likely try to find some sort of cheap replacement, this isn't an urgent matter to where something potentially ill-advised must be done.

If the Jets feel they need to sign a veteran defenseman for help on the penalty kill, that's fine, as long as he's not eating up time from other players of more importance.

The right play here is for the Jets to have faith in one of their young blueliners, especially one who has been on the brink of NHL stardom for a couple of years now.

Paul Postma has been with this organization since 2007, when he was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers. The kid certainly wasn't turning any heads when he was taken in the seventh round at that time, but he got my attention when he started putting up the numbers in the WHL and AHL—and this all occured after he was already drafted in the NHL.

In fact, Postma was drafted after a 24-point season in 2006-07 with the Swift Current Broncos. After a trade to the Calgary Hitmen, Postma scored 14 goals to go with 42 points in his first year with the organization. In year two, Postma broke single-season team records for goals and points as he upped his goal total to 23 to go with an astonishing 84 points. At this point, you have to think steal, as in "You sure he was a seventh-round pick?"

Postma made his way to the AHL to play with the Thrashers' affiliate, the Chicago Wolves, where he scored 15 goals and 29 points in 2009-10 and 12 goals and 45 points in 2010-11. Last season, Postma scored 13 goals and 44 points with the St. John's IceCaps, in a season which he missed games.

Through all of this, Postma has only seen time in four career NHL games to date between Atlanta and Winnipeg.

Postma signed a one-way contract this offseason, so he was set to see some NHL time regardless of the Bogosian injury. My only concern then was whether it would be enough time, or would it have been a game here and a game there as the possible seventh defenseman. Rest assured, I can almost guarantee that Postma will see continuous time as the possible fifth or sixth defenseman.

It should not be taken lightly, however.

To get such an opportunity doesn't come easy, and it could go away faster than it arrived. The opportunity will surely come this season, and it will be up to Postma to seize it.