The centre turned right winger Jimmy Lodge is a player that displays a tonne of offensive skill but has struggled to score at the rates many have hoped of him.
The young playmaking forward was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets as part of their highly touted 2015 draft class, which includes the likes of seven players in our top 20 list (and two that could have been argued to be included).
We continue our summer prospect profile series, checking in at #18.
Lodge generated a tonne of interest in his draft eligible season, as a 6’1 centre scoring over a point per game pace in the OHL while display his playmaking prowess. Essentially Lodge had a similar draft season as the Jets own Alexander Burmistrov. This lead to high expectations, that Lodge failed to meet.
The next year the Saginaw Spirit struggled, both on and off the ice, and it impacted Lodge. Lodge’s scoring dropped significantly the next season.
Lodge bounced back slightly in his final OHL season. He was one of the leading scorers for the league’s 7th worst offensive team.
The Spirit were struggling so they decided to trade for futures. In a move that was extremely unorthodox, the recipient team was an even worse team — the second lowest scoring Mississauga Steelheads.
This makes Lodge’s scoring numbers a bit difficult to get a handle on. Lodge only carried the OHL’s 46th highest point per game pace, but was 6th in percentage of team’s goals created and 16th in percentage of team’s points. While it is difficult to estimate how Lodge would have scored on a strong team, it would certainly been higher.
Prospect Cohort Success numbers are currently agnostic to team effects. He still performed well enough to garner an entry level contract and will be graduating to pro-level hockey with Nic Petan, Chase De Leo, Andrew Copp, Joshua Morrissey, and Jan Kostalek.
The next season will be a pivotal one for Lodge, which seems to be a running theme with many of the Jets prospects this year.
The learning curve tends to be tough for rookie AHL players, as many Jets fans know with Adam Lowry and Scott Kosmachuk. However, Jimmy Lodge has the talent to become a productive player.It only remains to be seen whether or not he will put it all together.
Here are some highlights from one game in his 2014/15 season, courtesy the Jets Nation’s own Anthony Lenting: