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Where are they now? The 2014 Winnipeg Jets draftees

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Photo credit:© David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Connor Baldwin
18 days ago
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It’s just less than a month until the 2024 NHL entry draft. That being said, it’s time to take a look back, 10 years ago to be exact, to see how the 2014 NHL entry draft went for the Winnipeg Jets. After a quick hiatus, I’m back bringing you some Jets off-season content, and I thought I would take a go at a series which Goose began looking back at the Jets’ draft choices, beginning with the 2011 draftees. I’m jumping ahead a little to the 2014 draft, before I dive back into other off-season content surrounding the Jets.
The 2014 draft is a timely topic of discussion, as we just learned tonight that it’ll be the Florida Panthers vs. the Edmonton Oilers for this year’s Stanley Cup Finals. The Panthers selected Aaron Ekblad 1st overall, and have since acquired the 2nd overall pick Sam Reinhart and the 4th overall selection Sam Bennett. The Oilers selected Leon Draisaitl at 3rd overall, meaning that all of the top 4 picks from the 2014 draft will be playing in the 2024 Stanley Cup Finals.
The 2013-14 season, which led up to the 2014 draft, was a rather disappointing one for the Jets. The Jets fired head coach Claude Noel mid- season and the job was taken over by Paul Maurice, who just so happens to now be the current head coach of the Florida Panthers. Despite a 8-2-0 start with Paul Maurice as the Jets head coach, the Jets finished last in the Central division with a record of 37-35-10, for a total of 84 points. Blake Wheeler led the Jets with 69 points in 82 games, and it was an off-season where the Jets were hoping to make some improvements, beginning with the draft.
1st round, 9th overall: Nikolaj Ehlers
The 2014 draft began for the Jets at 9th overall, where they selected Nikolaj Ehlers from the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. Oddly enough, the last article I wrote was about how Ehlers might be traded this off-season, and here we are now looking back at his draft year where it all began. In his career, Ehlers has played in 605 NHL games, scoring 201 goals and adding 256 assists for a grand total of 457 points. As I mentioned above, the Jets were looking to strike big with their 1st round pick this year, and they did just that. The only players selected AFTER Ehlers who have collected more points in their NHL careers are Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point and Boston’s David Pastrnak. It’ll be very interesting to see what happens to Ehlers this off-season, but regardless of what happens he’ll be a success story for the Jets organization since joining them in the summer of 2014 at the draft.
3rd round, 69th overall: Jack Glover
Remember how I said the Jets were hoping this draft would be a good one for them? Well unfortunately, Ehlers was the ONLY player they drafted in their 2014 draft class that would make any kind of an impact, not just for the Jets, but at all in their post-draft careers to this point. The Jets did not have a 2nd round pick this year, but in the 3rd round they took Jack Glover, a defender from the U.S. National Under-18 Team. After his draft season, Glover played 4 seasons with the University of Minnesota, but never really developed into an NHL caliber player. After university, Glover played parts of 3 seasons with the Jacksonville Icemen in the ECHL, and 1 game with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. The 2019-20 season would be the final season of Glover’s career, where he split time overseas with Brno Kometa and Kiekko-Vanta before presumably pursuing other career opportunities.
4th round, 99th overall: Chase De Leo
I don’t have really too much to mention about the rest of the Jets draft picks from the 2014 draft, because as I said it was full of misses apart from Ehlers. Chase De Leo was an intriguing pick, because personally I thought he could turn into something one day with the Jets following his time with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks. De Leo played 7 games in the NHL (with a total of 3 teams), and continues his pro career today, currently playing with the AHL’s San Diego Gulls. De Leo has put up good numbers in the AHL over the past 3 seasons, so maybe there’s still a shot for him to make it back to the NHL in the coming seasons for the California native.
4th round, 101st overall: Nelson Nogier
Nelson Nogier has appeared in 11 NHL games, the 2nd most out of the Jets 2014 draftees to this point. The defender was drafted from the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades. After 5+ seasons in the AHL, Nogier has played the last 2 seasons in the KHL with Nur-Sultan Barys. Nogier will very likely continue his career overseas in the KHL.
5th round, 129th overall: C.J. Suess
C.J Suess was drafted out of the USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede, but has only appeared in 5 NHL games thus far in his career. After 4 seasons with Minnesota State University – Mankato, Suess has mostly stayed in the AHL. Suess had a solid 2023-24 season with the Jets AHL affiliate: the Manitoba Moose, where he scored 10 goals and added 10 assists for 20 points.
6th round, 164th overall: Pavel Kraskovsky and 7th round, 192nd overall: Matt Ustaski
Rounding out this rather disappointing (aside from Ehlers) draft for the Jets was a pair of forwards who never made it to the NHL. Kraskovsky has spent pretty much all of his career since being drafted in the KHL with one team, Yaroslavl Lokomotiv. No sign of a North American appearance from Krasjovsky at this time. Finally, in the 7th round, the Jets selected Matt Ustaski. Ustaski has been quite the journeyman since being drafted (he’s still playing), playing in University for 4 years, followed by appearances with a handful of teams in the SPHL, ECHL and 1 game with the Manitoba Moose.
If I had to give an overall grade for this draft 10 years later, I would give the Jets a C+. A lot of that grade is heavily on the success of Nikolaj Ehlers, but it’s safe to say that the rest of this draft was overall one to forgot for the Jets organization.

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