Winnipeg Jets finish the draft; Select Matteo Gennaro 203rd overall

The Winnipeg Jets make their final selection with Matteo Gennaro of the Prince Albert Raiders with the 203 overall selection.

The former teammate of Josh Morrissey, Gennaro was ranked at 160 by ISS Hockey scouting, although was in the 200s or not ranked by all other firms.

Gennaro is far from having no offensive upside, but he did not produce much over his 16 and 17-year-old seasons in the WHL.

His 0.43 point per game pace was 27th for 17-year-old forwards in the WHL alone, and adjusting for age does not move him in either direction.

The Prince Albert Raiders though were a pretty terrible team, which has an impact on a players scoring. When looking at the Percentage of Team’s Goals Created statistics –a statistic used to see who is driving their team’s offense– Gennaro moves up to 15th in the the WHL for 17-year-olds.

Opportunity can affect a player’s scoring as well. The statistical estimation of Gennaro’s icetime ranks him seventh on the Raiders, so it is likely that Gennaro spent a good chunk of the season on the Raiders’ bottom six and also was given limited power play time. Although, on the other hand, it may be concerning that Gennaro was unable to garner much ice time on an extremely weak team.

Genarro had no real impact on his team’s goal differential. The Raiders only scored 44 per cent of goals while Gennaro was on the ice, which was the exact same as they did when he was sitting on the bench.

PCS suggests that players who are statistically similar to Gennaro’s 16-year-old season make the NHL about 6 per cent of the time, and 7 per cent of the time for Gennaro’s 17-year-old season.

Friend of the blog, Cody Nickolet had this to say to say on Matteo Gennaro:

Player Analysis: Matteo Gennaro is a tall and extremely smooth skating pivot for the Prince Albert Raiders…possesses a low and driving skating stride which generates plenty of power and speed…his crouched stance and wide base allows him to get low and really push off his edges to generate speed in short order…hands were rather hit and miss overall in my viewings this season…receives pucks well but did have his share of bobbled pucks during routine stickhandling plays…passes the puck well and seems to see the ice at a fairly solid level for a player of his age and experience…has a fairly good shot…is able to get it away quickly with plenty of zip…can shoot off the rush while in stride…isn’t an extremely creative player…does a lot of darting in and out of holes, will move the puck quickly but doesn’t do anything flashy and isn’t a guy that will beat many defenders with unique moves on a 1 on 1…despite being a rather large and tall player, he does a good job sneaking around the offensive zone and finding space…understands offensive positioning and spacing…thinks the game at a good level regarding both his body and stick positioning…isn’t a banger or crasher defensively but still makes good use of his size and length away from the puck, including on the forecheck…passion level was rather inconsistent from game to game although it was never a huge weakness…was willing to do lots of the little things in the defensive zone including battling for his ice and blocking shots when necessary…spent much of the year closer to the bottom of the Raiders top 9 forward group but was shuffled around and appeared to see more minutes in the second half…while he projects more as a centre, he did see some time on the wing this year…saw time on special teams in my viewings, including some time on 2nd and 3rd penalty killing units throughout the year along with the powerplay…entered the year as a top 15 WHL guy on my board but slowly trickled down my list as the year wore on…seemed to be a player that looked fantastic, has size, can really skate and has good sense but just failed to really accomplish much…that included his complete lack of offensive production in the first part of the year…had one of the most unbalanced offensive seasons of any WHL prospect for the draft…put up 6 points in his first 38 games (0.16 PPG) and 25 points in his last 34 games (0.74 PPG)…that increase of 362.5% was the 2nd most among any first-year draft-eligible forward from the WHL, trailing only Brayden Burke of Lethbridge…was drafted in the 2ndround, 41st overall, in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft by the Prince Albert Raiders…is the cousin of Fernando and Sandro Pisani…overall I was fairly encouraged by his second half…while at one point I thought it would be crazy to consider him a draftable prospect in 2015, now I wouldn’t be so shocked…he has plenty of tools, smarts and a projectable frame…I think he projects as a 3rd line type of centre at the next level if development goes very well and even if he goes undrafted this year, he should draw some pro interest down the line…

I think the most interesting thing, and why the Jets may have taken a flyer on him, is the splits between Gennaro’s first and second half. He scored at a 0.16 point per game pace for the start of the season, but his final 34 games he paced at a 0.74 point per game pace, as noted by Nickolet.

If we assume that Gennaro’s second half is his “true talent” scoring level, and not just shooting percentage driven, PCS suggests Gennaro’s 17-year-old season comparable to a 10 per cent chance NHL player, which is pretty strong for the seventh round.

All CHL statistics are from