Adam Pardy might not be the most prominent defenseman for the Winnipeg Jets, but he played a key role in what was a great season for the organization overall.
The former sixth-round draft pick has never played more than 60 games in an NHL season as he’s been bounced to the AHL level frequently. This year the blueliner appeared in 55 regular season contests. He didn’t find the back of the net, but matched his career high in assists with nine.
While he is your more a stay-at-home defenseman without a real offensive upside to his game, he plays that style effectively.
The 31-year-old and pending unrestricted free agent played 15:01 a night when with the Jets, which made him the second-to-least active Jets blueliner on the year ahead of only Paul Postma. While his average ice time wasn’t phenomenal, his biggest and most effective contribution are his efforts on the Jets’ penalty kill.
Pardy made $700,000 in 2014-15 with the same number going against the cap as well. That contract is up, and while bringing back the d-man should not be at the top the list of things to do for Winnipeg this summer, it should at least be on the agenda.
Pardy was the No. 3 penalty killing blueliner for Winnipeg. He averaged 2:25 of short handed time per contest on what was the NHL’s 13th-best penalty killing team. Jacob Trouba and fellow 31-year-old defenseman Mark Stuart were the only players to log more short-handed ice time per night.
The Rochester, Minnesota native also blocked his fair share of pucks during his time on NHL ice this year with 59 on the year. That number tied him with Dustin Byfuglien and tied for fifth among all Jets’ skaters.
Outside of the valuable defensive presence, Pardy also brings something the Jets currently don’t have that much of and that is a veteran presence on the blue line.
Winnipeg’s defensive group already has Tyler Myers, Keaton Ellerby and Trouba to go along with Tobias Enstrom and Byfuglien. This doesn’t include 32-year-old Jay Harrison, Mark Stuart or Grant Clitsome either.
Pardy would most likely play around the same number of games at the NHL level he did a year ago; he’s not a player to likely see a full NHL campaign. With that being said, having a veteran defenseman with NHL playoff experience waiting in the wings of the AHL is never a bad thing.
Bringing back Pardy for around the same money he was paid a year ago would be an exceptional move for the Jets and their AHL affiliate in St. John. While being a healthy scratch at the NHL level isn’t the ideal spot Pardy wants to find himself in, it’s the reality for the veteran.
It is also worth noting that Pardy underwent shoulder surgery following the Jets’ early exit out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the procedure was successful.