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.
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»
The 2014-15 season saw the Boston Bruins miss the playoffs for the first time in eight years. The club’s subpar performance led to the dismissal of general manager Peter Chiarelli and consequently the installation of former Bruins defenseman Don Sweeney into the role. While head coach Claude Julien and his staff have been reassured that their jobs are safe, the Bruins are closer to a rebuild than they are to contending for a championship. Bruins fans and front office personnel alike can only hope that the upcoming draft provides an opportunity for retooling on the fly rather than starting completely from scratch. Read more»
Just like that, another year is over. The Chicago Blackhawks have won their third Stanley Cup in six years, elevating the team’s exciting roster to dynasty status. For the rest of the league, the 2015 NHL Draft now looms large on the calendar, taking place June 26th and 27th at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Read more»