Consistent to their ideals, Winnipeg Jets management continued the trend of building the prospect base with big, tough, strong characters who put the team first. The team's top three picks from the 2012 draft all fit that identity and slot in very nicely into the Top 20.
Team Depth Chart of NHL Prospects
- Skill and size on forward and defense
- Depth at all positions
- Excellent goaltending pipeline
- Talent drops off quickly on the wings
- Lack of high-end depth at defense
Legend of Players' Leagues
- Playing in N.A. Pro (NHL, AHL, ECHL, etc.)
- Playing in CHL (OHL, QMJHL, WHL)
- Playing in NCAA
- Playing in Europe
- Playing in Junior 'A' (USHL, BCHL, AJHL, etc.)
- Not Categorized Yet
The Winnipeg Jets stuck with their established drafting trends in 2012, staying in North America and looking for size, strength, and strong character. They added a stud defenseman from the US National Development Team with their first rounder, and some additional size and sandpaper to their forward group in the later rounds. The search for additional goalie depth took them to unfamiliar territory however, with a fifth rounder from the NAHL and a seventh rounder from the OJHL.
The U.S. NTDP program has been prolific in recent years in terms of producing high-end NHL Draft prospects, and the 2012 NHL Draft is no exception. Three players from this program were chosen in the draft's first round, with Winnipeg Jets selection Jacob Trouba being the highest at ninth overall.
The Winnipeg Jets enter their second-ever draft year looking for some high-end skill to complement their growing stable of big, hardworking players. Having drafted entirely from North America last year, and focusing on size and toughness, the need going forward is to complement that strength with some skillful puck-movers, either forwards or defenders. There will still be plenty more of the strong characters and imposing physiques taken in this draft, but look for the Jets to swing for the fences in the first round.
Below is the bottom third of the ranking of the prospect depth of the NHL organizations as voted by the Hockey's Future staff. To determine the ranking, each team's entire prospect pool was taken into consideration. For reference, just the top five prospects are listed. To be eligible, a prospect must meet HF's prospect criteria. The rankings are done twice each season, in the fall and spring.