Unless the Winnipeg Jets do something dramatic in the next few weeks, their first pick in the 2018 NHL Draft will not come until Saturday morning when they have the 60th overall pick in the second round.
While strong players who have carved out solid NHL careers have fallen into the second round and beyond, it would seem the 60th pick isn’t an ideal spot for such a thing to happen as you’ll see below. Let’s review shall we?
2017 Draft: Anaheim selects center Antoine Morand
Of course it’s way too early to figure out if Morand has turned out well, but early indications are looking good for the highly skilled Acadie-Bathurst Titan forward who had a big part in his team winning the Memorial Cup and just signed his entry level deal with the Ducks a few days later. The small, speedy center in 181 junior games has a total of 68 goals, 132 assists for an even 200 points.
Our friends over at CanucksArmy spoke well of him a year ago:
Morand is an extremely skilled spark plug who is has very good skating skills that he uses to weave in and out of traffic. He compliments that agility with great puck movement and a decent shot. Honestly, if Morand was a few inches taller, the higher ranking would be out of norm. It’s always interesting to see what the size difference does.
2016 Draft: San Jose selects center Dylan Gambrell
The Sharks signed Grambrell to an Entry Level Contract this past March after his time with the University of Denver came to an end and then quickly got him in the lineup for a few non-critical regular season games. He was a key part of Denver’s 2016 NCAA title win and finished up his college career with 43 goals and 89 assists in 120 career college games. It’s amazing that when the Sharks first drafted him he was considered a bit of a risky pick, but a year later people were starting to realize the speed and smarts he possesses on the ice could be for real and help him make the leap to the NHL.
2015 Draft: Calgary selects defenseman Oliver Kylington
If you were hanging around Twitter during the 2015 NHL Draft, you no doubt remember this gem of a tweet:
Oh shit, Boston could get Barzal, Connor, and Kylington here
— nhl scout burner account (@Thats_Offside) June 27, 2015
Boston rather famously didn’t pick any of them with the three picks in a row they had during the first round. The Islanders and Jets benefited instantly as they respectively selected Mathew Barzal and Kyle Connor but almost shockingly Kylington fell another 45 picks down before the Flames smartly picked up the Swedish defenseman at the 60 spot.
While Kylington has had a career total of one NHL game to his credit, he could soon be a fullt-me NHLer as early as next season as our friends over at FlamesNation recently wrote:
Kylington also presents an opportunity to capitalize on cheap contracts. He still has two years left on an ELC making less than $800,000. Playing Kylington on the third pairing also allows them to stash Juuso Valimaki in the AHL and slide his contract another year. That’s a pretty solid and cap-conscious development plan.
It’s likely down to him versus Valimaki for a defensive job alongside Andersson. Whoever wins that battle, we can all agree that the Flames are in good standing with their blueline prospects.
2014 Draft: Los Angeles selects defenseman Alex Lintuniemi
Hasn’t seen a sniff of NHL action yet (as you may be able to tell, this is a bit of a trend for 60th overall picks) but there is still hope from the Kings and the people who cover him that he’s still worth keeping an eye on for the future but is also in a bit of a crowded house with the Kings boasting a strong stable of solid defensive prospects. Lintuniemi posted four goals and 24 points with the AHL’s Ontario Reign this past season
2013 Draft: Boston selects defenseman Linus Arnesson
Recently won MVP honors in.. Oh wait.. That’s 2nd Bundesliga MVP Linus Arnesson, not the hockey player. The hockey version of Arnesson is known as a good skating, stay-at-home type defenseman but has been doing as much with Orebro HK of the Swedish Hockey League after a injury plauged 2016-17 AHL season. The Bruins still retained his rights last summer with hopes for an NHL future, but it’s not looking good.
Funny enough, Winnipeg had the 59th overall pick in this draft and selected goalie Eric Comrie and he’s turned out ok. Bit of a dodged bullet there.
2012 Draft: New Jersey selects defenseman Damon Severson
Finally, six years in we get a player who has turned out to be a fairly decent NHLer. Severson has come into his own with the Devils over the last couple of seasons as a top four defenseman for the club even with some healthy scratches during the season as he did slump at times. He’s also been on the radar of a few trade possibilities, so don’t be surprised if you see this name pop up this summer in a deal with the Devils.
Not a good history
Other notable 60th overall picks? Tomas Tatar in 2009. Brandon Dubinsky in 2004. Dan Ellis in 2000.
Seriously, that’s it. That’s as good as it gets which is understandably depressing if you’re a Jets fan. It just goes to show how critical scouting – along with some luck – is to the draft process even as early as the second round.
In 2001 the Devils selected Victor Uchevatov with the 60th overall pick. 11 picks later at 71 the Montreal Canadiens selected Tomas Plekanec.
In 2011 the Wild picked Mario Lucia. Four picks later the Panthers picked Vincent Trocheck and two picks after that the Jets selected Adam Lowry.
The Jets have proven to be quite adept at the scouting game – hello 7th round 2015 pick Sami Niku – so with any luck the Jets could break the trend of the 60th pick having a history of being a bit of a dud pick.
Founded in 1950, Sports Excellence Corporation represents over 150 family-owned independent hockey retailers across Canada and the United States. Our highly knowledgeable hockey specialists are available to assist all your equipment needs. Find your closest Sports Excellence retailer here: Find a location near you!