We are in the dregs of summer, so we take a critical look at the Winnipeg Jets organizational cupboards and highlight who we feel are the Jets’ “Top 20 Prospects” when looking at a combination of potential and probability of positive impact for the franchise.
We continue our prospect profile with the oldest player on the list, Brenden Kichton.
|Age: 24||Position: RD|
|Height: 5’10”||Weight: 185 lbs|
|Draft Year: 2013||Round: Seven|
Believe it or not, Brenden Kichton, a defenseman, was the lead scorer for the Manitoba Moose’s inaugural season. With 11 goals and 30 assists, Kichton just surpassed DeLeo for the lead by one point.
This is what Kichton does. He scores points. A lot of them.
Kichton led the league in points for defensemen three times over his five-year major junior career. The right-shot defenseman also put up the most assists for a rookie in his first season in the AHL. It’s not that surprising that Kichton could lead his team in scoring.
Read More: 2015 Prospect Profiles: #13 Brenden Kichton
Kichton’s scoring is pretty impressive, especially given how weak of a team the Moose were last season. The defender connected on 22.7 percent of their team’s scoring. It is rare for 5’10, 23-year-olds to be as dominant in AHL scoring as Kichton.
Kichton’s last season only has 94 statistical cohorts under the pGPS model, where 27.7 percent of them made NHL careers of 200 games or greater. A good percentage of these players even went on to play impact roles on teams’ first or second pairs.
Scoring models are excellent for showing you on average how well statistically similar players in scoring, height, and age performed over their career. However, they do not tell the whole story and are unable to differentiate why some cohorts were able to make the NHL and why others were not.
While an impressive percentage of players similar to Kichton made the NHL, it may not be the same for the Jets’ prospect. Kichton lacks size, but he also is not the fastest skater. Most NHL managements expect a defender to have at the very least one of size and speed; there have been very few Kyle Wellwood-types to play on NHL defenses.
Kichton may never be more than what he currently is: a dominant AHL scoring defender who can move the puck through his ability to pass and predict the play.
That in itself is still a greater impact on the organization than some of the players on this list will ever have. Being better now, with still some potential left over for the future, is why Kichton still sits on this list at 24-years-old.