Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jets part ways with picks

Won't sign defenders, Swedish goaltender

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HE was once considered the Winnipeg Jets' top goaltending prospect, but Fredrik Pettersson-Wentzel is about to fade from the team's radar screen.

The Jets will not be making a contract offer to the 20-year-old Swedish netminder, selected in the fifth round (128th overall) by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2010 NHL entry draft.

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Teams have two years to sign players after initially drafting them and, despite Pettersson-Wentzel's credentials, Jets management will not be offering him a deal before the June 1 deadline.

Also becoming free agents -- meaning the Jets are pushing on and not offering them contracts -- are defencemen Sebastian Owuya and Kendall McFaull.

A couple of factors are in play in the decision to cut ties with Petterson-Wentzel: 1. There is a belief he has no intention of playing in North America and; 2. The rapid development of Eddie Pasquale in St. John's this season has rocketed him up the team's organizational depth chart.

Petterson-Wentzel was the No. 2 netminder with Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League this past winter, finishing with a 2.39 goals-against average and .902 save percentage.

Owuya, drafted in the sixth round (169th overall) in 2010 out of Sweden, spent last season with the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL and had eight assists in 35 games. McFaull, another sixth-round pick in 2010 (155th overall), appeared in 67 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors in 2011-12, picking up six goals and 12 assists.

JUST FYI: While many in the hockey world expect former Calgary Flames head coach Brent Sutter to be the leading candidate to fill the vacancy with the Edmonton Oilers, a couple of other names with local ties may also be in contention.

The Edmonton Journal reports that Dallas Eakins -- the Toronto Marlies head coach who played for both the Jets and Manitoba Moose -- may be among the candidates, along with current Oilers assistant Ralph Krueger, the Winnipeg-born product of Steinbach who was also the head coach of the Swiss national team. Other names being mentioned to replace Tom Renney are Paul Maurice, Ron Wilson and current Los Angeles Kings' assistant coach John Stevens.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 31, 2012 C6

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