Future Plans: Dec. 23, 2014

Merry Christmas readers, today
is the fifth installment of Future Plans.
With players leaving their respective teams for camps and World Junior
tournaments it’s been tough trying to rank them, but I’m going to try my best.

In the past two weeks since our
last Future Plans, Winnipeg’s AHL
affiliate the St. John’s IceCaps had another tough stretch, winning just two of
six games, posting a 2-3-1 record in that time.

In junior news three Jets
prospects (Eric Comrie, Nic Petan and Josh Morrissey), were named to Canada’s
World Junior Championship roster, while four other prospects were named to
preliminary rosters and camps, (Chase De Leo – USA, Jan Kostalek – Czech
Republic, Nikolaj Ehlers – Denmark and Pavel Kraskovsky – Russia).

Below is a list of Winnipeg’s
top 10 prospects over the past two weeks, and reasons that they are positioned
where they are on the list.

NOTE: I consider a Jets
prospect to be any player whose rights are owned by the Jets and have not yet
played 50 games in the NHL.

Without further adieu, lets get
started.

#10: John Albert – C, St.
John’s IceCaps (AHL) [Last Ranking: NR]
Selected: 6th Round, 175th overall, 2007 (Atlanta
Thrashers)
Finally John Albert cracks my list for Winnipeg’s top prospects. One of the
oldest prospects left in the Jets system, Albert has been up with the big club
for just nine games, but his play as of late has led me to believe he might get
called up soon should another body go down for the Jets. The Concord,
Ohio-native averaged a point-per-game in six games, (3g, 3a) and is currently
riding a two-game point streak.

#9: Connor Hellebuyck – G, St.
John’s IceCaps (AHL) [Last Ranking: 9th]
Selected: 5th Round, 130th overall, 2012 (Winnipeg Jets)
Hellebuyck remains in the ninth position this week due to average numbers, and
the lack of stats and meaningful games played by Eric Comrie these past two
weeks. In four starts Hellebuyck was 2-2-0 and allowed 13 goals in that time.

#8: Andrew Copp – C, U. of
Michigan Wolverines (NCAA) [Last Ranking: 4th]
Selected: 4th Round, 104th overall, 2013 (Winnipeg Jets)
The young American centre played in just one game over the past two weeks and
managed just one assist in a 5-1 loss. Copp is now on Christmas break in the
NCAA so he drops just out of lack of games playing at this point.

#7: Carl Klingberg – LW, St.
John’s IceCaps (AHL) [Last Ranking: 8th]
Selected: 2nd Round, 34th overall, 2009 (Atlanta
Thrashers)
Despites losing 66.6% of their games over the past two weeks, the IceCaps had a
sort of reemergence of their top players in that time. One of the two key
contributors for the team had been Klingberg, the Swedish prospect had three
goals and a pair of helpers in six games, and is also on a two-game point
streak, (like Albert noted above.)

#6: Eric O’Dell – C, St. John’s
IceCaps (AHL) [Last Ranking: 7th]
Selected: 2nd Round, 39th overall, 2008 (Anaheim Ducks)
The final prospect playing in the AHL right now is Eric O’Dell and like Albert
and Klingberg, he had a strong two weeks for the IceCaps, netting five goals
and an assist in six games. I cannot wait for O’Dell to get his chance up with
the big squad at some point this season.


#5: Jimmy Lodge – C,
Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) [Last Ranking: 5th]
Selected: 3rd Round, 84th overall, 2013 (Winnipeg Jets)
After being left off USA’s World Junior Camp roster, Lodge had a so-so two
weeks in the OHL, adding a goal and an assist to his season totals in three
games played.

#4: Chase De Leo – C, Portland
Winterhawks (WHL) [Last Ranking: 6th]
Selected: 4th Round, 99th overall, 2014 (Winnipeg Jets)
De Leo had his December in Portland ended abruptly to go take part in the US
National Selection Camp, but before heading to camp, the La Mirada,
California-native had three points (1g, 2a) in three games with the Winterhawks
and has a 12-game point streak waiting for him when he returns to Portland. De
Leo remains in the running for a spot on the US National team in camp being one
of 26 skaters left to fill 23 roster spots.

#3: Josh Morrissey – D, Prince
Albert Raiders (WHL) [Last Ranking: 3rd]
Selected: 1st Round, 13th overall, 2013 (Winnipeg Jets)
What a busy two weeks its been for the former first-rounder, aside from playing
in two games for his former team, the Prince Albert Raiders where he was a -1,
he was the dealt
to the Kelowna Rockets
. But before he could join his new team he was off to
Canada National Junior camp where he was successful in returning to the
tournament for a second time. In two pre-tournament games against Russia and
Sweden the Calgary-Native has netted two goals for his country.

#2: Nicolas Petan – C, Portland
Winterhawks (WHL)  [Last Ranking: 2nd]
Selected: 2nd Round, 43rd overall, 2013 (Winnipeg Jets)
Like Morrissey, Petan was named to Canada’s World Junior Championship roster
and will be returning for a second time, looking for redemption after last
tournament’s disappointing fourth-place finish. Petan didn’t play a single game
for the Winterhawks in the past two weeks, but played in one pre-tournament
game for Canada this past weekend.

#1: Nikolaj Ehlers – LW,
Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) [Last Ranking: 1st]
Selected: 1st Round, 9th overall, 2014 (Winnipeg Jets)
Once again Ehlers sits atop my list of Winnipeg’s best prospects, but he
deserves it. The Danish stud has 47 points in 23 games with the Mooseheads this
season, but did not play a game for Halifax in the past two weeks. He was
playing for his homeland, Denmark, on their National Preliminary roster, and is
almost a lock to make the squad this year. I have heard there are rumours that
he may be traded at some point this season. More to follow when/if it happens.

SUMMARY

Who’s In: John Albert (10)
Who’s Out: Axel Blomqvist (10)
Total Goaltenders: 1
Total Defencemen: 1
Total Centremen: 6
Total Wingers: 2

Now don’t forget, this is just
my opinion, and I would like to know yours. Who do you think is Winnipeg’s top
prospect? Is there a player not on a list you think should be? Who would you
replace them with from this list? Be sure to leave your thoughts and opinions
in the comments section bellow.

Until next time,