— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) July 1, 2015
Development camps are a pretty useful tool.
The Jets organization gets an opportunity to create relationships with their prospects, while also being able to teach the prospects important lessons on how to become a pro-level hockey player. It’s also fun for fans to be introduced to newly drafted prospects and compare them to some of the older Jet prospects.
There is an alternative bonus to development camps. Most teams do not have enough prospects to run a full camp. Because of this, most team’s invite non-drafted players, which gives an additional look at players that the team may deem worth earning an Entry Level Contract.
The Jets tend to invite NCAA players at the development camp and CHL players at the prospect tournament, since NCAA players cannot attend a pro-tryout and also the tournament takes place during the school year.
While it is a long shot, sometimes talent is found. The Jets signed Axel Blomqvist to an ELC after a strong performance, although this was at the prospect tournament, not the development camp.
Brad Schierhorn has played in the NCAA now for three seasons. The Darmouth College senior went undrafted after consistently putting up mediocre numbers in the USHL. He does have some size to him however and his scoring he has developed somewhat in the NCAA.
His statistical cohorts using PCS for his 17-year-old draft season brings up no NHL players with 200 or more games experience. Since then his 18 through 21-year-old seasons have had a somewhat upward trajectory, posting a PCS percentage of 2.3, 4.8, 4.9, and 4.0 percent respectively.
Denham is another large frame who has played in the NCAA. He started off being a depth player, only scoring 4 points in 36 games, but has since moved into an impact role and his scoring has improved with it.
Denham played in a non-PCS friendly league for his first draft eligible season. The rest of his career PCS estimates his cohorts make the NHL 0, 1.8, 3.0, 4.4, and 3.2 per cent of the time.
Leavens is a 22-year-old Junior for Robert Morris University. Like Denham, Leavens did not produce much in the NCAA in his freshman season, but jumped up significantly in his sophomore year.
PCS actually suggests Leavens had a 7.7 per cent chance of making the NHL in his firs draft-eligible season, which is higher than many seventh round pinks are rated. His PCS rating the next few years were 3.9, 3.0, 0.9, and 5.1 per cent.
Smith recently came off of an impressive freshman season, scoring near a point per game for the highly respected Quinnipac University. Smith was named to the ECAC Division’s All-Rookie team and won the BCHL most valuable player award the year prior.
In Smith’s draft-eligible season, PCS only predicted a 1.2 per cent chance of Smith reaching 200 NHL games. The next years Smith received a 0.0, 4.0, and 6.9 per cent rating by PCS.
LaPorte is another forward who forced his way into a larger role in the NCAA following his freshman season. The Western Michigan University senior is also a former USHL Second-Team All-Star.
LaPorte played his 17-year-old season in a non-PCS league. However, his PCS rating for the next seasons were 0.6, 0.0, 1.1, and 0.9 per cent chance of making 200 NHL games.
Morley would be the only invited forward under 6′ tall. However, he makes up for his stature in scoring ability. Morley is the only forward invite to pace over a point per game in the NCAA, which he has actually done twice. Morley has been given All-Star nods in both the BCHL and WCH, with also being awarded the CCHA All-Rookie team for his freshman year.
PCS gives Morley a 4.0 per cent rating in his first draft-eligible season, with the following years coming at 0.0, 1.9, 0.6, 7.1, and 3.8 per cent.
“You can’t teach size”
Dalrymple comes with a very impressive 6’5 frame. While his scoring pace has not increased over his time as in the NCAA, Dalrymple was an high-end scorer in tier-two junior prior to entering college.
PCS initially looks as though it suggests that Dalrymple should have been drafted after his 17-year-old season, with a 20 per cent rating. However, with further inspection, Dalrymple’s only cohorts to make the NHL are all players drafted in the 80s. His PCS falls to 0.0 per cent the next season, and continues with 4.3, 0.0, 6.0, 0.0, and 0.0 per cent chance of making the NHL.
Valleau played his first year of college this hockey this season, due to missing last year as a consequence to de-committing to Ohio University and changing over to Bowling Green State University.
Valleau did not play in a PCS-friendly league in his draft-eligible season. The next year he put up a strong enough performance to be named to the NAHL All-Rookie team, although he did not bring up any NHL player cohorts. Nor did he the next year in the USHL. His rookie season in the NCAA though did bring up a PCS percentage of 5.6 per cent.
The Jets invited one “undersized” forward to camp, so they needed to even things out with an “undersized” defender as well. Teammate to Jets own Tucker Poolman, Stecher did not pull the strongest numbers in his sophomore season but he does have a lot of skill. He also has leadership skill, with being a former captain in the BCHL, and will be the assistant captain to the University of North Dakota next year.
Stecher pulled a 5.9 per cent PCS rating in his draft-eligible season. The next years Stecher produced a 5.4, 0.9, and 1.4 PCS percentage.
Kruger took over the starting role in Dartmouth in his junior season and posted a strong 0.926 save percentage, good enough for fourth in the ECAC (with former Jet prospect Jason Kasorf ranked 12th).
There is no PCS percentage (currently) for goaltenders; however, there is a relationship with the top performers in save percentage in one league succeeding in making it to the next level.
Kruger has played 33 games in the NCAA, facing 704 shots and a save percentage of 0.926 per cent. For perspective, Jets former and current prospect career NCAA save percentages are 0.912 with 1506 shots against for Kasdorf, 0.922 with 1367 shots against for Jamie Philips, and 0.946 with 1461 shots against for Connor Hellebuyck.