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.