3 options for centres that the Winnipeg Jets could draft at 37th overall

Photo credit:© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Connor Baldwin
1 month ago
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It’s almost draft season. Mock drafts are already starting to heat up online, and teams are starting to collect all sorts of data from their scouts to help them decide who to pick on draft night. If you haven’t checked out my 1st draft-related article, it’s a part 1 and similar style to this one about 3 options for defencemen that the Winnipeg Jets could draft at 37th overall, their 1st selection in the upcoming NHL draft. This is an unintended part 2 of 2 to this early draft preview where I thought I would look at 3 options for centres. Here’s the results of my poll question on Instagram and Twitter / X, where aside from the heavily #1 answer: defence, centre was 2nd place, collecting 12% of the votes on Instagram and approx. 20% of all votes on Twitter / X.

Before I get right into the 3 options, a couple things to consider. 1st of all, these are just 3 options from the dozens of options that the Jets could choose from at the centre position with their 37th overall pick. I am still familiarizing myself with most of the prospects in this upcoming draft, so most of the scouting report information I am getting is from Elite Prospects. I also found that when I looking at some centre options, there was a wider range of rankings on most centres, who may be more difficult to rank in terms of an overall consensus. The 2nd thing to consider is that centres are probably the most important position that teams look to draft each season. Yes, all positions on your team need to have good players, but it usually starts down the middle, with teams searching for their bonafided #1 centre who can do it all.
Lucas Pettersson
The 1st option that the Jets could look at for centres with the 37th overall pick, which they own from the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade, is Swedish centre Lucas Pettersson. The 18-year old is projected to play the 2024-25 season with MoDo Hockey in the SHL, the highest ranked league in Sweden. Pettersson is a smaller, but skilled left handed centre, listed at 5″11 and 172 pounds. His draft rankings are in the mid 30s to early 40s, which is a good range for the Jets to target. Pettersson spent most of last season with MoDo Hockey’s Junior U20 team, where he collected 27 goals and 30 assists for 57 points in 44 games. One scouting report summarizes Pettersson as a two-way centre who is good at positioning himself in areas that allow him to set up his linemates for good scoring chances, while also having a solid shot of his own.
Dean Letourneau
If you think the Jets need a big, tall centre, then Dean Letourneau could be that guy. Think Logan Stanley size but as a centre. The 18-year old from Canada has committed to Boston College for next season, one of the top ranked teams in NCAA hockey. Letourneau is listed at 6’7″ and 209 pounds and is a right handed shooting centre. Perhaps due to his size, his draft rankings vary quite a bit, from the early 30s to the late 40s and even early 50s. Letourneau spent most of his 2023-24 season with the St. Andrew’s College U18 AAA team, and he scored 61 goals and added 66 assists for 127 points in 56 games. Letourneau might be a bit more of a project at first as a prospect, but his size and elite hands could help him develop in a few years to a player similar to Buffalo Sabres’ big centre Tage Thompson.
Julius Miettinen
A final option that I picked out from the many centre options in the 37th overall range is Finnish centre Julius Miettinen. The 18-year old from Finland spent the 2023-24 season with the Everett Silvertips in the WHL. Miettinen has a good mix of size and skill, listed at 6’3″ and 207 pounds and is a left handed centre. Just like Letourneau, Miettinen’s rankings vary depending on the scout. Some have him listed in the last 20s while others have him listed as late as the mid 80s. It’s quite the range of rankings, so it’ll be interesting to see where he might be picked. In 66 games with the Silvertips, Miettinen scored 31 goals and added 36 assists for 67 points. His scouting report admires that he can play both centre and the wing, and that his size and speed often contribute to him scoring in transition.
There’s 3 centres to keep you pondering about the Jets’ upcoming draft decisions. The draft is still pretty far away, so these are just some early options to consider if you’re eager to start thinking about the draft. I’ll have more draft related content coming up as the NHL draft weekend approaches in June, but in the meantime, enjoy the remainder of the 2023-24 Stanley Cup playoffs before the off-season officially begins.


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