The Columbus Blue Jackets returned goaltender Jet Greaves to the Cleveland Monsters yesterday, recalling Daniil Tarasov in his place. But one thing became clear over the past weekend of hockey: Jet Greaves deserves more attention.
In back-to-back starts on Friday and Sunday, Jet Greaves stopped 71 out of 76 shots against. Think about that for just a second – that’s a total of five goals against (2.5GAA); while the team averaged nearly 40 shots against per game. His save percentage through two starts in the NHL this season: a stingy .934.
Couple that with his lone appearance for the Blue Jackets last season (46 saves on 49 shots) – and Jet Greaves is sitting with a 1-2-0 record, with an NHL-record tying 119 saves (on 125 shots) through three NHL starts. He has a 2.70 goals against average and .936 save percentage in the NHL – vastly better than what we’ve seen out of him in the AHL, or even the junior hockey level.
It’s not that I don’t believe in Jet or his capabilities. It’s just that he’s such a rarity, for a couple of reasons. First, he’s an undrafted signee by the Blue Jacket organization. It’s rare for players not selected in the NHL Draft to turn into NHL players. He was passed over multiple times before the club snagged him up, signing him to a three-year contract in February of 2022. This was after seeing him play well for the Cleveland Monsters that season. He didn’t get an NHL contract out of junior – he had to earn his way to the big club by starring in the AHL.
The other reason he gets written off? His size. He’s only 6’0″ – making him a real rarity in today’s NHL. In fact, off the top of my head, the only sub-6’2″ goaltender I can think of who plays any kind of big role for his team is Nashville’s Juuse Saros. It’s pretty rare to see a smaller guy manning an NHL crease.
Not only did Greaves man the crease for the Jackets on Friday – he stood out for the team and gave them a chance to win. This earned him another (unscheduled) start on Sunday, where he again shined and kept the team in a game that had no business being as close as it was.
It’s still hard to project Jet as a long-term starting goaltender in the NHL. But I’m also not going to say that he can’t do it, because he keeps proving everyone wrong. I do think he deserves a longer look with the big club, and I think in time, he could become a reliable backup – or more – with the Columbus Blue Jackets.