Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.
2011 NHL Entry Draft
Round 1 – Mark Scheifele (C) 7th overall – Scheifele is quickly becoming a star in the NHL in his third full season. He finished the 2015-2016 campaign on absolute fire, and started the 2016-2017 season the same way. In his first 55 games, he’s nearly a point per game with 25 goals and 28 assists. There are few people behind him in this draft that you would want over Scheifele. With the Jets adding a sniper in Laine, this will only boost Scheifele’s confidence and play for the foreseeable future.
Round 2 – Pick was traded to Chicago in acquiring Andrew Ladd – Chicago used this pick to take Adam Clendening, who hasn’t amount to nearly what they got out of Andrew Ladd.
Round 3 – Adam Lowry (C) 67th overall – Adam Lowry has been a serviceable 3rd/4th line centre for the Jets for 2 seasons now. He doesn’t put up much for point production, however not many players after him have. Everyone will be judged as missing out on Johnny Gaudreau, but he wasn’t drafted until the 4th round. Let’s face it, 29 teams missed out on Johnny Hockey. This isn’t the worst selection of the night for the Jets, but also not their best.
2012 NHL Entry Draft
Round 1 – Jacob Trouba (D) 9th Overall – Jacob Trouba is what most NHL teams are looking for in today’s game – right-handed shot, mobile, big defenceman, with offensive upside. His offensive numbers are up this year despite starting the year on the sidelines with a trade request. It still remains to be seen if Trouba will stick with the Jets long-term, as right now he feels like he’s being limited in his growth potential, playing behind two other right-handed defenceman currently ahead of him on the depth chart. An injury to Tyler Myers has seen Trouba play an increased role. It will be interesting to see what happens with Trouba between now and the expansion draft. Either way, this was a great selection by the Jets.
Round 2 – Lukas Sutter (C) 39th overall – The Jets’ second round pick was a big swing-and-a-miss selection. Sutter plays a mean game, racking up 165 PIM in the WHL in his draft year to go along with 59 points in 70 games. It’s hard to fault the Jets too much for this selection, as you need grit to win. However, since his selection, Sutter has basically fallen off a cliff. His production dipped to 24 points the following year, and he was never signed by the Jets. He ended up back in the draft in 2014, being selected in the 7th round by the Islanders. The Jets would love a mulligan on this pick, as plenty of future NHLers were selected after Sutter.
Round 3 – Scott Kosmachuk (RW) 70th overall – Kosmachuk had a great 4 years in the OHL, yet he has failed to crack the NHL roster for longer than 8 games. In his 4 years in the OHL, he managed 120 goals, 126 assists in 271 games. Contrast that to 41 goals, 40 assists in 170 AHL games, he hasn’t maintained that level of play. He still has time to grow into an everyday NHL player, however he didn’t stick with the big club after playing 8 games near the start of the season. He’s now 23, so time is ticking for the young winger.
2013 NHL Entry Draft
Round 1 – Josh Morrissey (D) 13th overall – Morrissey hasn’t lived up to expectations for the Jets. This season is his first in the NHL, and while he’s play okay, he hasn’t been the same quality of player that others in his draft class have been. If we compare him to defenders taken after him, he’s not far off the mark. So if the Jets were keen on taking a defencemen with this pick, than they couldn’t have done THAT much better.
Round 2 – Nicolas Petan (C) 43rd overall – Petan was coming off a 120 point campaign in the WHL in his draft year, and followed that up with 113 points in 63 games, and 89 points in 54 games. It appeared the Jets had gotten a steal at this point in the draft. Petan would follow that up with 32 points in 47 AHL games, and 6 points in 26 NHL games in 2015-2016. Pretty solid AHL numbers for a 1st year pro, not the best NHL numbers. He’s spent time in both the NHL and AHL this year, with his NHL production not keeping up to his track record – 12 points in 37 games. The Jets are going to need more out of Petan in the near future if they hope to become a perennial playoff team.
Round 2 – Eric Comrie (G) 59th overall – Comrie is viewed by many as a potentially elite goalie of the future for Winnipeg. He’s currently playing in the AHL with a GAA of 2.68 and SV% of 0.914. These are both pretty solid numbers for a young goaltender. The Jets do possess a couple other goalie prospects, so it will be interesting to see what they do with Comrie over the next couple of years. His time could be coming soon, with the expansion draft looming.
Round 3 – Jimmy Lodge (C) 84th overall – A late 3rd round pick, it doesn’t appear Lodge will pan out. He’s currently playing in the AHL, where he only had 6 points in 44 games last season. Even in junior, he’s never put up great production. If he can work on his defensive game, he could potentially slot in on a bottom 6 role for the Jets in the future, but right now that doesn’t appear likely.
2014 NHL Entry Draft
Round 1 – Nikolaj Ehlers (LW) 9th overall – Ehlers has seemed to come into his own this year, playing alongside Scheifele and Laine on the Jets top line. He’s coming off a season in which he put up 38 points in 72 games, and he’s currently on pace to put up 65 points. That’s the kind of increased production they were expecting when they drafted him in the top 10. There are a few wingers who were selected behind him in the draft that are also having great seasons, however I’m sure the Jets are more than fine with getting Ehlers at 9th overall as he’s currently the 4th highest scoring player from that draft.
Round 2 – Pick was traded to Minnesota (before onto Washington eventually) for Devin Setoguchi – I’m sure the Jets are regretting this trade, as Setoguchi only put up 27 points in 75 games for them. There haven’t been many current NHLers to come out of the 2nd round, however someone like Christian Dvorak would be exactly what the Jets need coming up for their team.
Round 3 – Jack Glover (D) 69th overall – Glover hasn’t yet panned out for the Jets, but they’re taking the slow-and-steady approach with him, and he’s now currently playing for the University of Minnesota in the NCAA. He had a good season in 2015-2016, where he put up 11 points in 36 games. He’s a big-body at 6’3”, so the Jets are hoping he can come along in a few years when they lose one of their current right-handed shots.
2015 NHL Entry Draft
Round 1 – Kyle Connor (LW) 17th overall – Kyle Connor has seen stints in the NHL (4 points in 19 games) this year, but he’s currently back in the AHL, where he is playing much better. He’s still young at 20 years old, but the Jets he could step in and be a factor this year. He still has time to find his game, add some strength and excel at the NHL level. He has the tools to do it, a full year in the AHL won’t hurt his value.
Round 1 – Jack Roslovic (C) 25th overall – Another selection out of the USHL, Roslovic had put up great numbers in his draft year – 38 points in 25 games. He’s currently playing his first year pro for the Jets’ affiliate in the AHL, and has been playing well all season long. He’s on pace for nearly 50 points, which is great for a 1st year player.
Round 2 – Jansen Harkins (C) 47th overall – Harkins was heralded as a complete player ahead of the 2015 draft, and is off to a good start in his final WHL season. While he’s likely a couple years away from competing for an NHL roster spot, he possesses skills that could one day make him an everyday player.
Round 3 – Erik Foley (LW) 78th overall – The Jets again went the USHL route and selected Foley in the third round. He put up solid numbers ahead of the draft (54 points in 55 games), and has now transitioned to College hockey playing for Providence College. He’s sitting at a point-per-game so far this season. It’s too soon to tell what Foley will become, but right now appears to be a smart pick by the Jets in the mid-3rd round.
All-in-all, the Jets have done very well for themselves in these 5 drafts. In most cases, when picking early on in the draft, they’ve come up with the best possible player. Sure there are cases where Johnny Gaudreau was missed, but we’re talking about a guy who was picked in the 4th round, no one really expected him to be the player he is today.