The Jets could have traded all of their picks after Patrik Laine for a bag of pucks and still came away with a B grade. Laine is one of the more offensively gifted big men to be available in the draft since Mario Lemieux was selected in 1984…and he will help make Winnipeg a playoff contender as soon as next season with his cannon shot, sense and puck skills. Winnipeg moved up to take Logan Stanley at 18th overall even though he has shown little offensive upside, a weak shot, and a propensity for mental errors in the second half of the season. Stanley is proof that NHL teams still place a heavy emphasis on height.
|1||2||1||Patrik Laine||LW||FIN||6-4/210||Tappara (Fin)|
|1||18||34||Logan Stanley||D||CAN||6-7/225||Windsor (OHL)|
|3||79||60||Luke Green||D||CAN||6-0/190||Saint John (QMJHL)|
|4||97||70||Jacob Cederholm||D||SWE||6-3/190||HV 71 (Swe)|
|5||127||80||Jordy Stallard||C||CAN||6-2/190||Calgary (WHL)|
|6||157||143||Mikhail Berdin||G||RUS||6-1/165||Team Russia U18 (Rus)|
Luke Green was worth a gamble in the third round given his natural skating ability and offensive production…he will have to work diligently on his defensive game and add some muscle he has to get over his tendency to make improper reads and pinch at inopportune times. Jacob Cederholm has the physical skills scouts look for in a defenceman…unfortunately the head didn’t start catching up to the body until late in the season at the U-18’s. He’ll need to learn to simplify his game and not try to be a puck possession blueliner.
Jordy Stallard brings good size and a decent stride…he had some offensive skills and some night showed impressive flashes….he’ll be asked to continue improving his quickness, competitiveness and consistency. Mikhail Berdin raised the interest of scouts with a sterling goaltending performance at the WJAC, where he was named to the All-Star Team. He was less impressive at the U18’s, but still worth a selection in the sixth round.
Grade- A: Winnipeg ended up with the best player in McKeen’s rankings and five prospects ranked in the top 80..one of the best drafts in both quality and quantity. It’s hard to argue that the club didn’t take an important step towards becoming a contender.