Better Know a Prospect - Ranking Edition

Dean Belanger
September 20 2011 10:56AM

 

 

Since the announcement that the Winnipeg Jets were going to fly again, I have been wondering to myself exactly who their top prospects are and how do they rank. At first glace, I had little to know knowledge of the Atlanta minor league system and their junior and Euro players. While Atlanta has graduated some excellent players to the NHL over the years, the current list is not NHL elite.

This piece will be the first of several posts over the coming months. My friend Lowetide does some excellent blogging on his site, and pays special attention to the Edmonton Oilers draft and prospect development. Both of us wrote together some time back for Hockeysfuture.com and both of us have been influenced by that experience and he has taken what we did there and applied it to his current site. I hope to mirror some of his work here at Jetsnation. The schedule will look like this. Summer ranking which this is, prospect reviews during the season, a mid term report card, and finally a new prospect list following the June draft next year.

As I stated earlier, having not seen any of the Jets prospects first hand prior to this summer, it would be difficult if not impossible to give an accurate rating. What I have decided to do is take the lists from some other great sites (with credit to them), blend them and use that as my starting point. Hockeysfuture.com writer Kyle West shares his insight here. He has a detailed report for his top 20 and notables. The list is as follows:

  1. Mark Scheifele, C
  2. Carl Klingberg, LW
  3. Patrice Cormier, C
  4. Paul Postma, D
  5. Jason Gregoire, LW
  6. Ivan Telegin, C
  7. Eric O'Dell, C
  8. Ben Maxwell, C
  9. Spencer Machacek, RW
  10. Arturs Kulda, D
  11. Zach Redmond, D
  12. Vinny Saponari, RW
  13. Julian Melchiori, D
  14. Fredrik Pettersson-Wentzel, G
  15. Daultan Leveille, C
  16. Adam Lowry, LW
  17. Brennan Serville, D
  18. Jordan Samuels-Thomas, LW
  19. John Albert, C
  20. Zachary Yuen, D

Corey Pronman from Hockey Prospectus has his top 10 here, and it looks considerably different. Again he does an excellent breakdown of each player in his top 10 and is worth the read. For the record, here is the list:

  1. Paul Postma, Defense
  2. Mark Scheifele, Center
  3. Arturs Kulda, Defense
  4. Ivan Telegin, Center
  5. Carl Klingberg, Right Wing
  6. Spencer Machacek, Right Wing
  7. Julian Melchiori, Defense
  8. Adam Lowry, Left Wing
  9. Daultan Leveille, Center
  10. Akim Aliu, Right Wing

Based on this intel and some observations from the last couple of months, here is the inaugural Jetsnation top 20:

1 Mark Scheifele, C - No doubt he has established himself as the top prospect

2 Carl Klingberg, LW - Could break with the team this year

3 Paul Postma, D - Great AHL numbers, faces loaded NHL depth chart

4 Jason Gregoire, LW - Excellent UFA signing, I would expect him to start in the AHL

5 Ivan Telegin, C - Talented winger, could light up the OHL this year if he goes there

6 Patrice Cormier, C - Still trying to find his way as an NHL player

7 Ben Maxwell, C - Good size, good AHL numbers. What role will he play in the NHL?

8 Spencer Machacek, RW - Had a cup of coffee last year. Maybe a career AHL player?

9 Eric O'Dell, C - Played 4 years in the OHL, headed for AHL

10 Arturs Kulda, D - Also had a cup of joe last year, not ready yet

11 Zach Redmond, D - Bomb of a shot, looked good in Penticton

12 Vinny Saponari, RW - Played in the USHL after leaving Boston College

13 Adam Lowry, LW - Uses his size well, project at this point

14 Julian Melchiori, D - Decent rookie season in the OHL, offensive potential

15 Daultan Leveille, C - Former 1st round pick, needs to bulk up

16 Fredrik Pettersson-Wentzel, G - Played in the WJHC for Sweden

17 Brennan Serville, D - An OJHL all-star, headed to the University of Michigan

18 Jordan Samuels-Thomas, LW - Another NCAA player in the system who has transferred

19 Edward Pasquale, G - Was rock solid in Penticton

20 Zachary Yuen, D - Excellent skater, will play in the WHL this year

Stay tuned for future feature stories that will feature each prospect on the list as well as updated how they are progressing outside of the NHL!

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Dean has partied at Portage and Main (Bombers 1984,88,90) and cried (Jets rally 1995). He fondly remembers seeing Selanne's first goal, when Ellett scored in overtime, and not so fondly when they drafted Sergei Bautin. Is also a fan of the NFL Vikings and Raiders, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Oilers, and loves MMA. Participates in the best hockey pool ever and is addicted to Fantasy Football. He also has a weird fascination with the Bearcats. You can follow him on Twitter @bearcats_dean
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