The Winnipeg Jets wished the 6’2 centre from Ann Arbor to start his pro-career sufficiently enough to burn a year of Andrew Copp’s entry level contract last year.
A cursory glance of Copp, a veteran forward from the NCAA, may lead one astray, as Copp has never eclipsed a point per game pace. That said, there are a legitimate causes for Jets management to be so high on Copp.
We continue our summer prospect profile series, checking in at #10.
Here is Copp’s Player Cohort Success over the since his pre-draft eligible season:
PCS% is the percentage of similar players in height, league, scoring, and age that made the NHL, while PCS points per game is the production typical of those that did make it.
Copp was passed in his draft year, and for good reason. The young centre was essentially an extra used by the US National Team Development Program as he was good enough and lived near by. Copp’s primary interest was football, and he was one of the top High School quarterbacks in the nation.
An injury and some thinking caused Copp to change sports though. Copp started on the 4th line as a grinding centre for Michigan in his freshman year, but a struggling team gave way to opportunity partway in the season and Copp raced up the depth charts to the top line.
The teammate of Jets then star prospect Jacob Trouba interested the Jets scouts, who that summer drafted Copp in the fourth round.
Copp continued his development in the NCAA playing as the University of Michigan’s top line centre, and eventually wore the ‘C’ for the team.
Similar to Lowry, Copp is an incredibly smart defensive centre and plays a mature game for his age. Copp has scored well, although has never dominated the league in scoring, much like Lowry again.
The Jets look as though they have intentionally left a spot at the NHL level open for Copp, with veteran centre Jim Slater walking to free agency. Hopefully the 21-year-old centre can carry a rookie season much like Lowry did before him.
Here are some two goals scored by Andrew Copp last season, courtesy of Jets Nations’ own Anthony Lenting: