Contrails – July 21st



Welcome to contrails, a new Jets Nation links post feature. Today we’ll look at the contracts of Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler as well as a comparison between Mark Scheifele and Sean Courturier. Finally, we’ll look at which Canadian broadcaster will be carrying Jets games this upcoming year.

– Jeff Stevenson of Winnipeg Whiteout looks at Andrew Ladd’s new contract versus some of the other deals that were signed this off-season, including Ville Leino and Tim Connolly. He concludes, quite reasonably, that Ladd came in at a bit of a bargain.

The former Blackhawk has been a better than average even strength player for years, a fact that has been masked by his frequent deployment as a third line/shut-down option. He obviously has offensive upside as well as demonstrated by his output last year in a slightly different role for the Thrashers. He will be a key piece for he franchise moving forward.

– Richard Pollock of the excellent Illegal Curve blog did a similar exercise for the Blake Wheeler deal, comparing him to younger RFA’s like Patrik Berglund and Jakub Voracek. It appears Wheeler took a bit of a discount versus the deals signed by similar players. Pollock suggests this is because the player wanted to avoid the arbitration process, which is infamous for being rather unpleasant.

– Gabriel Desjardins of Arctic Ice Hockey compiled 20 years of OHL scoring and then plotted it against subsequent years in the NHL to project the potential careers of Mark Scheifele and Sean Couturier (who was also available at seventh overall when the Jets took Sheifele).

The results aren’t very good. Couturier leads by a significant margin based on Desjardins investigation. This echoes the consensus that the Jets made a bit of reach choosing Scheifele inside the top-10. Most consensus scouting outfits had the Kitchener native in the 15-30 range, including NHL central scouting (16th in NA) and Hockey Prospectus’ Corey Pronman (29th overall).

Of course, projecting kids is little more than guess work, so it remains to be seen which prospect will in fact be the superior NHL player. Right now, though, it seems like the Jets took the much riskier route.

– Finally, TSN has purchased Jets the broadcast rights for both TV and radio going forward. Broadcasts schedules have yet to be announced.  

  • TwoFace

    The experience that reminded me the most clearly of what it was like to be a Jets fan all those years ago was the moment at the draft when the Jets name was announced and then, seconds later, the Jets ignore the consensus and make a reach pick.

    I hope Mark Scheifele becomes what the Jets need.

    When the Jets left Winnipeg in the 90’s I choose to support the Oilers. It feels so great to read a blog about the Winnipeg Jets again!

  • JoeHallenback

    I was about a big a Couturier fan as anyone pre draft that knows me and I was a excited he fell to us and a little miffed we didn’t take him but after watching Scheifele at the u18s were he was easily Canada’s best player I wasn’t that horrified by the selection.

    Also Bob McKenzie had Scheifele at 12th on his final rankings so it was probably only a bit off

    I just can’t put my faith into looking at a players possible future with just pure stat analysis. There is too many factors involved and too many anomalies that don’t get mentioned. NHL-E is one of those stats that I just don’t think have value. I can go back to alot of drafts like say 1995 and if I used NHL-E Terry Ryan should be a superstar and Kilger should have had the same career as Doan but it just didn’t happen that way

  • JoeHallenback

    I as well hate the NHLE stats…they can be close, but they really only project for their first year…did they predict Stamkos was going to win the Rocket’s trophy in his second year? No, so who cares. A players’ rookie year does not define his career unless you’re Teemu Selanne and broke a record…but even then I think he preferred winning the cup a few years ago much more than his calder trophy.

    That being said, Couturier dropped a long ways in the draft…I was thinking about him as #1 overall for my Oilers…I’m much happier with RNH mind you, but the point is he’s going to have a career. Scheifele might end up being a surprise guy, I seem to recall a certain recent Calder winner drafted at #7 overall (Skinner anyone?)