No matter how good or poor a
team is playing, fans always seem to be concerned about a team’s prospect list and
who will be the next player to make a difference on the team. The Jets’
faithful are no different
In the past two weeks since our
last Future Plans, Winnipeg’s AHL affiliate has fallen into a bit of a slump,
losing six straight games, (one in a shootout), and being outscored by
opponents 25 to 15 in that time.
Below is a list of Winnipeg’s
top 10 prospects over the past two weeks, and reasons that they are positioned
where they are on the list.
NOTE: I consider a Jets
prospect to be any player whose rights are owned by the Jets and have not yet
played 50 games in the NHL.
Without further adieu, lets get
started.
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#10: Connor Hellebuyck – G, St.
John’s IceCaps (AHL) [Last Ranking: 7th]
The goalie I listed as Winnipeg’s best prospect between the pipes two weeks
ago, has fallen into a bit of a slump in the past two weeks, losing three
straight games and seeing his GAA fall from 2.38 to 3.45.
#9: Jimmy Lodge – C, Saginaw
Spirit (OHL) [Last Ranking: Unranked]
The lone new player on this week’s list is the 19-year-old centreman from
Downingtown, PA. The young forward is a little underweight but the team hopes
he’ll fill into his 6’1 frame. Lodge is currently on a four game point streak
in which he has accumulated three goals and three assists.
#8: Eric Comrie – G, Tri-City
Americans (WHL) [Last Ranking: 10th]
Winnipeg’s second netminder on this week’s top ten had a strong two weeks,
winning four of five games and improving his GAA to 2.42 from 2.53. He
currently sits amongst the top 10 in all statistical categories for goaltenders
in the WHL.
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#7: Andrew Copp – C, U. of
Michigan Wolverines (NCAA) [Last Ranking: 6th]
Playing in just two games in the past two weeks, and putting up just one goal
in those games results in a bit of a drop for Copp. The 20-year-old is still a
threat and can be expected to breakout at anytime while at Michigan.
#6: Eric O’Dell – C, St. John’s
IceCaps (AHL) [Last Ranking: 8th]
The reliable centre has continued to improve his play over the past few weeks,
contributing two goals and an assist in five games for the suddenly struggling
IceCaps. I predict O’Dell getting the next call-up to the Jets, his on-ice vision
might just be too good for the AHL level.
#5: J.C. Lipon – C, St. John’s
IceCaps (AHL) [Last Ranking: 5th]
J.C. continues to do what he does best for the IceCaps. The gritty winger added
two assists and 11 PIMS in five games with St. John’s. His 27 penalty minutes
lead the team in that category and his six assists tie him for third on the
team.
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#4: Carl Klingberg – LW, St.
John’s IceCaps (AHL) [Last Ranking: 3rd]
The big-bodied Swede continues to be an offensive leader for the IceCaps, and
his size and aggressiveness will fit well on Winnipeg’s third line… eventually.
Until then all we can do is wait until he gets a call up and a chance to prove
he belongs in the bigs. Klingberg’s one goal and one assist in six games leads
to a bit of a drop on our list because other players have been playing better,
but none in the AHL with him.
#3: Nicolas Petan – C, Portland
Winterhawks (WHL)  [Last Ranking: 4th]
Petan has continued to play throng this season on a mediocre Portland team. His
one goal and five assists in five games have been impressive on a team that has
just eight wins in 21 games. He’s currently six points back of Chase De Leo for
the team league in points, but has played five games less.
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#2: Josh Morrissey – D, Prince
Albert Raiders (WHL) [Last Ranking: 2nd]
Morrissey remains in the second place slot this week, not due to his lack of
production, but because of how our number one prospect is playing. In six games
since my last list, the freewheeling rearguard has added three goals and four
assists to his season total, putting him at five goals and seven assists in 14
games this season. Consider him a lock to represent Canada at the World Junior
Championships this Christmas season.
#1: Nikolaj Ehlers – LW,
Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) [Last Ranking: 1st]
Ehlers’ play has only improved since our last list. He is now averaging just
under a point and a half a game with the Halifax Mooseheads this season. In his
five games since my last list, Ehlers has added two goals and seven assists to
his total this season.
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SUMMARY
Whose In: Jimmy Lodge (9)
Whose Out: Scott Kosmachuk (8)
Total Goaltenders: 2
Total Defencemen: 1
Total Centremen: 5
Total Wingers: 2
Now don’t forget, this is just
my opinion, and I would like to know yours. Who do you think is Winnipeg’s top
prospect? Is there a player not on a list you think should be? Who would you
replace them with from this list? Be sure to leave your thoughts and opinions
in the comments section bellow.
Until next time,