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.
The recent promotion of Mark Hillier to Director of Amateur Scouting from Head Amateur Scout seems like a small change in terms of title. Under Marcel Comeau’s direction since 2003, the Atlanta Thrashers amassed a mixed record – as all teams do. Since relocation however, the team had begun to separate from the pack. How much is due to Hillier’s input versus Comeau or others is unclear, but the Winnipeg Jets now find themselves with one of the deepest collections of young talent in the NHL.
Despite yet another gold medal at the U18 World Championship, this time around in Zug, Switzerland, the U.S. NTDP saw relatively few players taken at the 2015 NHL Draft. To a degree that can be accredited to having a number of key players on the team who will first be eligible for the 2016 draft, including no less than captain Luke Kunin, top scorer Auston Matthews, Matt Tkachuk, Clayton Keller, Chad Krys, and Jamie McAvoy. As many as three of these players are looking like surefire first round picks for next summer’s draft. Read more»
With two first-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft, the Winnipeg Jets were in a terrific position to add to what is already considered to be one of the deepest prospect pools in the NHL. The Jets have a collection of young talent that is bursting at the seams and eager to help improve a team fresh off the franchise’s first playoff appearance since relocating to Winnipeg. Read more»