Winnipeg Jets shake up their scouting department

The Jets have announced several personnel changes to their scouting department on Tuesday, including the promotion of Mark Hillier to be the club’s new director of amateur scouting.

The changes are a re-shuffling, rather than a re-invention, of a scouting department responsible for putting together one of the league’s top prospect groups. Read more after the jump.

From the Winnipeg Free Press:

The Jets say Mark Hillier, the club’s former head amateur scout for the past five seasons, has been promoted to director of amateur scouting. Hillier replaces Marcel Comeau, who the club says will remain with the team as an amateur scout but “has taken a step back from the director’s position to pursue more time with his family.” The Jets also announced they’ve added Kjell Dahlin as a European amateur scout, Jari Gronstrand as a European professional scout and Mark White as a college free agent scout.

The additions to the department are replacing recent departures; two of the Jets’ former European scouts have taken general manager positions for teams in Sweden, and a third former Jets scout is now an assistant coach at the University of Denver.

Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Jets’ scouting department have put together one of the best prospect groups in the league, and should start seeing the benefits at the NHL level this season

Tapping the shoulder of the head amateur scout for a promotion to director of amateur scouting is a vote of confidence for the current scouting staff and their direction. The Jets had a particularly strong draft this summer, which will help them maintain a strong prospect pool as players graduate to the NHL. 

Recent drafts have shown an impressive diversity in the type of prospect the Jets have drafted. They’ve drafted players from North America and from Europe; strong, defensive players and small skilled scorers; and overagers to just-draft-eligibles. 

A minor re-shuffling of the scouting staff might only count as news in August, but Mark Hillier’s promotion to director of amateur scouting is a well-deserved endorsement of the scouting department’s work. In only a few weeks, the prospect group they’ve put together will be on display at the Young Stars tournament.