Are the Winnipeg Jets building a contender?…by Geoff Brookes

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© Geoff Brookes
Part 2 – the 2016 draft picks after Laine

A month ago, I wrote an article explaining that if you’re building a NHL team with the draft and develop model, you need to produce at least 2 NHL players each year, but really 3 or more is necessary to build a contending NHL team. You can refresh your memory of that article at this link:

https://chuckduboff.com/2016/05/16/drafting-a-contender-jets-showing-stark-improvement-over-atlanta-thrashers-drafting-by-geoff-brookes/

As my previous article explains, it’s so important to draft several quality NHL players in each draft, in order to build a championship contending team. So, the later picks are just as important as the early picks, in order to get quantities of NHL players from each draft!

In the 2016 draft, the Winnipeg Jets drafted a defenseman in each of the first, third and fourth rounds. It seems like a tacit admission that Jets draft picks in the last five years were skewed too heavily to forwards.

Here’s a quick summary of the three defenseman just drafted:

– Logan Stanley (18th overall): a big bruising defenseman who shoots left. Cheveldayoff (“Chevy”) says that what they like best about Stanley is that his development trajectory is like Scheifele’s, at the time that they drafted him. Stanley has worked extremely hard at his game, and has developed his skating tremendously well in the past year. The Jets see Stanley continuing to develop as he “grows into his body”, currently at 6’6″.

– Luke Green (79th) is a smooth skating, right shooting, offensive defenseman.  I have  to cheer for a hockey player from Bedford Nova Scotia, a suburb of Halifax, where I lived for 2 years! Green gets marked in on the wall (an old family tradition in my family) at 6’1″.

– Jacob Cederholm (97th) is a shutdown defenseman from Sweden. He shoots right. Another big guy, at 6’3″ .

In the fifth and sixth rounds, the Jets picked Jordan Stallard (centre, Calgary Hitmen of the WHL) and Mikhael Berdin (Russia U18 team). The Jets traded their 2016 7th round draft pick to Montreal, for the Habs’ 2017 7th round pick.

All of the Jets picks after round 1 were rated higher in the draft by most scouting agencies. Did the Jets get lucky with these prospects falling into their lap? Time will tell. When it got to the 7th round, it seems like the Jets felt there weren’t any more “value picks” this year, and flipped the 7th round pick from 2016 to 2017, through the trade.

In my next article, I’ll review the Jets’ success in their 5 previous drafts. As a teaser, here’s a quick summary of the potentially successful picks from those drafts:
Scheif
2011- Scheifele, Lowry
2012 – Trouba, Kosmachuk, Hellebuyck and Phillips (G)
2013 – Morrissey, Petan, Comrie (G), Lipon, Copp, Poolman (D)
2014 – Ehlers, Glover (D), De Leo, Franklin, Nogier
2015 – Connor, Roslovic, Harkins, Foley, Spacek, Appleton, Niku

We’ll toss in Lemieux and Dano (acquired by trade) for fun!

What an exciting future for the Winnipeg Jets!

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