The second day of the draft is over, with the Winnipeg Jets adding four players to their prospect cupboards between the second and seventh rounds. The Jets added defensive depth with Luke Green, and Jacob Cederholm, a gangly centre with Jordan Stallard, and a Russian goaltender with Mikhail Berdin.
Let’s take a look at the final four players the Jets selected in their first draft with Mark Hillier at the helm.
#79 – RHD – Luke Green
Age: 18, 1998-01-12
Frame: 6’1″, 185 lbs
The Jets found good value with selecting Luke Green at 79th overall. At times he was ranked just outside of the first round by scouting services, but fell a tad later on in the year. He was ranked 51st overall in the Nation Network Prospect Profiles.
Green put up 10 goals, 19 primary assists, and 6 secondary assists in 61 games for the Saint John Sea Dogs. His point per game pace fell from last year, which could be in part why he fell in the rankings, but his primary point per game pace actually rose.
The right-handed shot is well known for both his transition and offensive game. Green handles the puck well, being able to effectively skate and pass the puck out of dangerous situations. He can quarterback the powerplay as an effective distributor, although he will never be known for his shot power.
Green carries all the primary tools needed in today’s NHL defensemen. He skates well in all four directions, can shift directions at ease, moves the puck well both in skating and passing, thinks quick and well, and is poised with the puck.
His defensive game is still a bit lacking, and at 6’1 he won’t be overpowering anyone. Still, Green has a lot of skill that he will be adding to the Jets’ backend.
#97 – LHD – Jacob Cederholm
Age: 18, 1998-01-30
Frame: 6’3″, 187 lbs
The Jets added another defenseman to their prospect cupboard with Anton Cederholm. Like the Jets previous pick, Cederholm is an effective skater although the comparisons end there. Cederholm is actually a lot more like his brother, the Vancouver Canucks 5th round pick from 2013.
Like his older brother, there is little to no offensive upside to the Jets’ pick. While he skates well, Cederholm cannot handle the puck very well and does not and projects as more of a defensive player that contributes more for their size, intangibles, and grit.
The big defender put up 5 points in 35 games in the Swedish U20 junior league, which is even less than the 13 points in 36 games his brother put up at the same age.
My viewings and knowledge on Cederholm is limited so I will defer to Patrik Hansen of Djugarden Hockey:
It was a disappointing season from Jacob Cederholm. Still feels like he is the same player as he was a year ago. He needs to work a lot on his puck handling and breakout pass. His upside is his leadership and determination. He fights for every inches of the ice and never takes a night off and he moves well for a guy his size and keeps it clean in front of the net. I have my doubts about him..
Cederholm has the size and skating ability to become an asset to the organization, but is a project who will need to make huge improvements upon his puck handling abilities and transition game in order to be an effective player.
#127 – C/W – Jordy Stallard
Age: 18, 1997-09-18
Frame: 6’2″, 187 lbs
Stallard was the Jets only non-Patrik Laine forward in the 2016 Entry Draft.
With 21 goals and 28 assists in 68 games, Stallard was fourth on the Calgary Hitmen forwards in point totals, points per game, and primary points per game. In terms of even strength points, Stallard was third on the team. The Hitmen will be losing one of their top three scorers, and may potentially lose their top scorer, so there should be lots of opportunity for Stallard to take the next step.
The forward has a projectable frame at 6’2, but 187 pounds may be an exaggeration as he looks like a player that needs to significantly fill out their frame. Stallard fits the Jets’ 2016 draft typecast in being a strong skater and mobility.
The Manitoban native has some offensive instincts and has potential to be a depth contributor. His biggest asset in offense is his ability to skate the puck, but he is also a strong playmaker. His defensive game needs some work, although he has been improving in that facet. In fact, I’d say the defensive game issues are slightly exaggerated due to Stallard not being a very physical player, as he is still good in defensive zone positioning and moving the puck out of danger.
Stallard’s largest claim to fame though may be scoring the 2015 Teddy Bear Toss Goal.
#157 – G – Mikhail Berdin
The Jets took their very first European goaltender since the move to Manitoba, and that is not the only thing that separates Burden from the Jets previous netminder draft choices.
Connor Hellebuyck is very much a blocking type netminder, who uses his size and position to stop all the pucks and eat up rebounds. Eric Comrie meanwhile is a bit more of a fusion of technical positioning and athleticism. Berdin, however, is a flashy reflexive netminder with extreme athleticism.
Reading that last comment likely scares a lot of Jets fans, with their history of Ondrej Pavelec. It should be noted though that style is not the same as effectiveness, like how Dominic Hasek was an extremely athletic and reflexive netminder who dominated the game.
Berdin’s game is fairly raw, but with the right coaching he could potentially become the best netminder in the draft. Berdin’s raw abilities and Russian passport could play a role in why he fell so low in the draft, but another reasoning could be the meldonium scandal that disqualified Burden and his teammates from playing in the U18s this year.