Unlike last year, the lotto balls didn’t drop in the Winnipeg Jets favor. It was kind of the opposite actually as one of the three teams that were ahead of the Jets in the final standings, but behind them in terms of odds – the Philadelphia Flyers – won a top three pick.
As such, the Jets will draft a spot lower than expected… 13th overall.
New Jersey Devils ended up winning the draft lotto with Philadelphia being the real big lotto winners taking 2nd overall and the Dallas Stars also getting a nice bump upwards with the 3rd pick.
The NHL Draft will be June 23rd and 24th in Chicago.
Who Might The Jets Get At 13?
This year’s draft feels a little more wide open than the last few years. It could be because there isn’t a bonafide consensus number one pick like a Connor McDavid or an Auston Matthews. Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier are considered the front runners for top spot.
Once you get down to the 12th spot, there are a few questions to deal with. Will one of the projected top five picks fall? Do the Jets want to draft for a perceived team need or are they going to try to draft best player available in regard to most overall (projected) talent?
Some names you may want to start looking into and getting familiar with that could be / might be available when Chevy and the gang take the stage:
Timothy Liljegren – Right handed defenseman from Sweden. 6 foot even and considered a strong puck moving, offensive minded defenseman.
Miro Heiskanen – Left handed defenseman from Finland. Has spent the past season in Liiga – the top Finnish pro league – as a 17 year old and has not looked out of place at all with strong skating and good off the puck skills.
Cody Glass – Center with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. The Jets already have some strong goal scoring ability, and Glass would be a fine playmaking complement to that goal scoring in a year or two. Also known for having a solid defensive game.
Klim Kostin – 6’3″ Russian forward who could be in the Adam Lowry mold except with a bit more speed and better hands. Of course there are questions if he would pick KHL over NHL as he already turned down a chance to play in the WHL for Kootenay.
Kristian Vesalainen – Big, bruising power forward type from Finland that is a strong skater and not at all afraid to go through people to get from point A to point B. Would be a bit of a project though which is why his spot in various mock drafts is as high as early teens and as low as mid-twenties.
Michael Rasmussen – An even bigger (6’5″) power forward type who played for Tri-City in the WHL this past season. Was able to impose his will physically in junior but that doesn’t always translate in the pros.
Nicolas Hague – Big and mobile and like Liljegren maybe the best overall defenseman that can bring both a bit of speed, some good puck movement and isn’t afraid of using his size to play physical.