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Short of running down the clock and letting their pick slide past, Kevin Cheveldayoff and Head Scout Marcel Comeau will be required to do something of note today. Patience has been the buzz word of this management team, ‘build from within’ its favoured mantra. Today, with 6 picks inside the first 3 rounds of a deep draft, the Jets are an hour away from a critical moment in the future of the franchise.
Jets fans worldwide should know this man’s name. Ever wonder why a team that’s been in the playoffs once since he took over as Head Scout in 2003 never seems to get better? Well, it’s because just 12% of this man’s draft choices between 2003 and 2010 have made the NHL as regulars. Only two players of his 54 picks after 12th overall hit 200 games played in the big leagues. That’s right, 2 of 54.
Today, all of his picks come after 12th overall.
In addition to #13 overall, which should deliver an NHL player in a deep draft, the Jets hold three 2nd round picks and two 3rd round picks today that the team desperately needs to turn into two NHL regulars. In 2003 (the year this draft keeps getting compared to), 12 of 38 second round selections made it to 200 games played – almost a third. We have to expect that of Comeau today, despite Ondrej Pavelec being the only second round pick he’s ever had become an NHL regular. After that, we have to hope and pray he nabs a third hockey player that helps the Jets. A watershed year at the draft table would not go amiss, Marcel.
The Depth Chart
Cheveldayoff has not even re-signed an RFA yet this off-season. His procrastination means that we remain uncertain about the depth chart. In fact, we can only be certain that there are holes in it.
- Little (RFA) – Ladd – Wheeler (RFA)
- Jokinen – Kane – (Scheifele?)
- Burmistrov (RFA / KHL?) – Tangradi (RFA) – ?
- Slater – Wright – Thorburn
Well, hey, at least that miserable 4th line is intact.
- Enstrom – Byfuglien
- Trouba – Bogosian (RFA)
- Stuart – Redmond (RFA)
- Kulda (RFA) – Postma (RFA)
Kulda, Redmond, and Postma are all 24 year old late round picks, but at this stage none of them would make a playoff quality team. On said hypothetical playoff bound team, rookie defenceman Jacob Trouba would also not be put in a position to carry heavy minutes, but I can’t see a way around that with this depth chart.
It’s Sunday. Have a ceasar with brunch and forget about this.
What is the Jets’ need?
Both forunately and sadly, the Jets need star players at every position. Best Player Available is the name of the game for the Jets, with a pause to worry that the concept is lost on Marcel Comeau.
- Multi tool LH dman
- Top-6 centre
- Top-6 RW
- Top-9 centre with faceoff and PK capabilities
- Top-9 winger of the Raffi Torres / Cal Clutterbuck variety who can take and make a pass
- Starting goalie
What can we expect today?
The Jets have been almost silent so far this off-season, and haven’t popped up in any major trade rumours to date. I not-so-secretly hope they trade up to take Aleks "Hawerchuck" Barkov, but more likely they hold on and hope for Max Domi or Ryan Pulock to appear. We can collectively knock on wood that Comeau avoids Zadorov (here’s why) and changes his habit of drafting out of lesser development leagues.
Worst case scenario?
It’s possible we see Evander Kane traded today. Hearing there’s a couple teams who have approached Jets.
— Josh Rimer (@JoshRimerHockey) June 30, 2013
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) June 30, 2013
The best part of being a fan of a bad team is that if they just don’t make it a complete disaster, it feels like a victory. Lowered expectations might even be the title of Marcel Comeau’s biography some day.