We nominated, you voted, and the results are in. All this week Jets Nation will be revealing your reader picks with our writers’ perspectives for the 2013 Year-End Awards. Today is the exciting category of Best Young Player Outside the NHL. Some in the Nations Network voted on best Rookie for their team, but the Jets’ young talent is mostly bubbling under. The Jets had a lot of good news on the Prospect front, with Scheifele deep in the OHL playoffs, Lowry being named Best Player in the WHL, Eric O’Dell delivering a quality season in bad circumstances, and Trouba turning pro. Who did you like best?
Best Young Player (Outside the NHL)
Nominees: Mark Scheifele, Adam Lowry, Jacob Trouba, Eric O’Dell
Brett Martin (@brettmartinlive)
Travis Hrubeniuk (@thrubeniuk)
It was hard to pick just one in this category, but I went with Adam Lowry. Yes, Scheifele had a great year in the OHL, but he is a man amongst boys down there. He belongs in the AHL. Jacob Trouba had a great year in Michigan as well, but plenty was expected of him as a first round draft pick. Adam Lowry though, the Jets third round pick from the 2011 entry draft had one heck of the year. 45 goals and 43 assists for 88 points in 72 games is quite something. He won the WHL player of the year (in a league with players such as Ty Rattie, Seth Jones, etc.) and had a brief stint with the Ice Caps where he truly fit in. Lowry will be a long shot to make the Jets out of training camp next season, but he has earned his shot. In all likelihood he will be an Ice Cap to start the year, but if he can continue to grow and develop at his current pace, he will one day be a valuable contributor for this Jets franchise.
Kevin McCartney (@kevinmccart)
I think Scheifele deserves some more love in these parts. Coaches in the OHL thought this guy was for real – voting him Most Dangerous in the Goal Area, Best Shot, 2nd in Faceoffs, and 2nd in Best Shootout Scorer. Yeah, he was 20, but he wasn’t the only one in the OHL (especially because of the lockout), including former Coaches’ Poll favourite Ryan Strome, and other 2011 first rounders Ryan Murphy, Noesen, Puempel, and Rickard Rakell. Adam Lowry appears to have made huge strides, but is 14 days older than Scheifele, so was also a 20 year old against mostly 16-18 year olds. The Colts are in the OHL finals in part due to Scheifele’s unreal 34 points in 18 games. I think this season Scheifele made a huge jump from talented player to game-changer at the Major Junior level and I’m looking forward to seeing his impact in the NHL.
Jets Nation at Large
Jets Nation agreed with Brett – Jacob Trouba was your choice for Best Young Player with 53% of the vote! Wait, you guys agreed with Brett?! This thing is obviously rigged. Scheifele had 37% and Lowry came in third with 11%. O’Dell got no love.
In fairness to Brett, Trouba deserves our adoration. Scouts named him the 4th best prospect from his draft year in the Hockey News Future Watch feature. He had 29 points in 37 games at University of Michigan, continued his punishing play, and turned pro at the end of his year. Now that he has some Jets Nation hardware to add to his U-18 Gold Medal and U-17 Silver, I think he’s got a shot at breaking camp with the Jets in 2013/2014.