The New York Islanders went into the 2011 NHL Draft with a top five pick for a third consecutive season. The franchise had selected John Tavares with the first overall pick in 2009 and Nino Niederreiter with the fifth overall pick in 2010. They went into the draft looking to add another cornerstone as a rebuilding franchise. Read more»
The Winnipeg Jets had many of their prospects in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose during the 2015-16 season. As a result, that team struggled, but several players made great strides toward a potential promotion to the NHL. The team also had several players – but especially the electrifying Nikolaj Ehlers – get quality minutes in the NHL. Though growing pains are part of the Jets’ approach to team-building right now, the prospect pool is also full of top performers in their own age groups.
Making the playoffs last season for the first time since 2006-07 — when the franchise played in Atlanta and was known as the Thrashers — the Winnipeg Jets appear to have things heading in the right direction: with several young prospects working their way into roles in the NHL lineup.
The Winnipeg Jets have effectively erased the memories of ineffective drafting that plagued the franchise’s Atlanta incarnation. Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry, taken in 2011, are already NHL players capable of tough minutes. 2012 picks Jacob Trouba and Connor Hellebuyck are developing well as pros – albeit at different stages. While players picked in 2013 and onward remain to be judged, the early returns are excellent. Scouting is only one part of the equation that leads to a successful NHL franchise, but it is a crucial aspect for a frugal team like Winnipeg.