Jets Nation Draft Recap: Winnipeg Jets pick up a tonne in upside

It is all over, unfortunately.

The day has come to an end and every team has taken their last pick for players they want to add into their organization.

The Winnipeg Jets were thought to be possible movers-and-shakers, but instead they just sat to the side quietly, while making really, really smart picks.

Let’s take a look.

After the first round, the Jets already were looking like winners from the draft. Analytically speaking, the Jets had the best value relative to where they were selecting… and everyone knows that a Winnipeger loves nothing more than a good deal.

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In terms of their 17-year-old ranking in PCS and where they were drafted, the Jets two first round selections Kyle Connor and Jack Roslovic were 2nd and 3rd in relative value.

Kyle Connor has put up elite numbers in the USHL two seasons in a row. Not only has he performed exceptionally, he has been consistent and on terrible teams, which is very reassuring that it’s not linemates or shooting percentage luck.

Jack Roslovic meanwhile was a late bloomer, although there are concerns that his two linemates may have driven more of the boat on his offense.

The Jets continued making smart selections, starting off the second day with picking up two-way stalwart Jansen Harkins in the second round.

In the third round the Jets went for a bit of a lower scorer in Erik Foley who has qualitative factors that have made scouts appreciate what Foley can do.

Cheveldayoff than broke Jets Nation, picking up what may be the best value in the draft, or at least Jets draft history, picking up Michael Spacek in the fourth round. Spacek was a strong performer in the Czech pro-league despite only playing fourth line minutes.

The Jets then returned in the sixth round with Mason Appleton, an 18-year-old who went undrafted last year. He does not come with a tonne of scoring, but with four years in the NCAA he has a lot of time to develop.

The Jets then swung for the fences with two seventh-round selections.

The Jets first selected Sami Niku, a Finish defender who was once thought of as a possible top-three round pick after having an elite performance in the Finish junior leagues at 16-years-old. Niku’s defensive game scared some and there were others who felt that Niku did not perform as expected, but he has scored exceptionally well in the Mestis league.

The Jets second seventh-round selection was Matteo Gennaro. A centre who started the season as a depth player on a terrible team, but moved his way up and scored at a much higher rate in the second-half of the season.

Overall, the numbers smiled pretty highly on the Jets, as it looks like this could very well be one of their stronger draft classes (when ignoring goaltenders).

I pulled the PCS numbers for each of the Jets’ prospects still protected by the organization but not yet in the NHL. The numbers reflect the player’s weighted PCS at the time they were drafted, with the numbers weighting their drafted year three times more than their previous season.

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The Jets looked as though they really added talent to their prospect cupboard this year.

Here are our draft profiles for more information on each of the Jets selections this year:

  • I like that Kyle Connor has been on the radar consistently for so long. He came into the USHL a few years ago and never missed a beat, even as an under-ager. You can knock the USHL’s level of competition, it’s still fair competition at the junior level, and he dominated.

  • I’m a canucks fan that was vicariously enthusiatic about the jets coming back to winnipeg so i supported as a feel good story. But based on the style of play over the last 2 years, seeing the prospects play against the western Canadian teams in Penticon last summer, and the draft today I am seriously considering defecting. My 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter are about to get comrie, petan, and morrisey jerseys

  • I’m a canucks fan that was vicariously enthusiatic about the jets coming back to winnipeg so i supported as a feel good story. But based on the style of play over the last 2 years, seeing the prospects play against the western Canadian teams in Penticon last summer, and the draft today I am seriously considering defecting. My 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter are about to get comrie, petan, and morrisey jerseys

  • Jets owl

    The poll on the right… “Should the Jets trade 17 + 25 + Morrissey/Petan for 3rd Overall?”

    How do people think now – Strome/Marner for Morrissey/Petan + Connor + Roslovic?

    • Antman

      No way I would take Strome. MA Pouliot had similar numbers playing with Crosby in Rimouski and couldn’t come close to those numbers in the NHL. Not saying that Strome is the same player, but I don’t want the Jets being the ones having to find out.

  • Antman

    I know this is a bit up off-topic and maybe there is a column coming on the subject soon but… July 1 is coming soon. What do you think the team is looking to do?
    Will Frolik or Stafford be re-signed?
    Is the team targeting any UFAs?
    Will Ehlers and/or Burmistrov be with the club this season?
    Are new contracts in the works for Ladd and/or Byfuglien?

  • Antman

    This is such an interesting project to watch develop.

    Possible to add Lemieux and Armia for comparisons sake? I understand that they aren’t Jet’s picks, but they are still prospects and not NHL’ers.