Howdy! Once again we provide a prospects update! And as the proximity to the draft is becoming increasingly great, time is of the essence to publish one last Prospect Report before the next batch of draftees join the ranks.
Here is an updated look at how we here at Arctic Ice Hockey view the players on the Winnipeg Jets farm team as well as how the junior players in the system have fared over the past season.
We will also rank the top ten Jets prospects with each installment, depending on their play.
So now, without further adieu (but maybe a JUMP), here is final edition of Flight Training for the Winnipeg Jets' inaugural season.
Top Ten Prospects
1. Mark Scheifele - LR: 1
Barrie Colts (OHL) - 47GP - 23G - 40A - 63PTS - 36PIM - +21 Playoffs: 13GP - 5G - 7A - 12PTS - 12PIM
St. John's IceCaps Playoffs (AHL): 10GP - 0G - 1A - 1PTS - 2PIM - +0
Winnipeg Jets (NHL): 7GP - 1G - 0A - 1PTS - 0 PIM - +0
Canada (WJHC): 6GP - 3G -3A - 6PTS - 0 PIM
Scheifele may be a point of debate in many Jets circles, but he still remains the top prospect in the system. He had a very solid year for Barrie, where he was a dominant force in both the regular season as well as the playoffs. He also made notable contributions to the Canadian National Juniour Team and the WJHC on his way to earning a bronze medal, as well as joining the IceCaps for part of their playoff run. Whether it was Coach Noel, Coach Hawerchuk or Coach McCambridge, all his coaches oversaw growth in his play over the coarse of this past season and combining that strong play in the season with an offseason where he might add a little more bulk he might once again push to be included in the Jets plans for the full season in 2012-13, as opposed to the 7 games he managed this past fall. However, Jets management should not shy away from the idea of once again sending him to juniour if he falters, where he can once again hone his craft.
2. Ivan Telegin - LR: 3
Barrie Colts (OHL) - 46GP - 35G - 29A - 64PTS - 26PIM - +19 Playoffs: 13GP - 5G - 9A - 14PTS - 6PIM
Russia (WJHC) - 6GP -1G - 1A - 2PTS - 12PIM
Speed, Size and Smarts. That is how one can describe Ivan Telegin, who did himself a plethora of favors after a dominant season with Barrie where he emerged as a proven goal scorer and a key contributor to the powerplay unit. He has emerged as one of the very few prospects within the depths of Jets prospects who shows top 6 forward potential, and he could very well get his shot next year. Like Scheifele, he also represented his country at the World Juniours, helping his team to a silver medal.
3. Paul Postma - LR: 4
St. John's IceCaps (AHL) - 56GP - 13G - 31A - 44PTS - 32PIM - -14 Playoffs: 15GP - 1G - 9A - 10PTS - 14PIM - -3
Winnipeg Jets - 3GP - 0G - 0A - 0PTS - 0PIM - +0
An offensive defenseman through and through, Postma has no difficulty finding his way onto the scoresheet at the AHL level and could very well do the same at the NHL level. However, he will need to improve his defensive game if he is to be a reliable defender in the NHL. Offensively he might be able to rival Dustin Byfuglien, but we don't need two guys getting caught up ice as they gamble and get burned. Postma may still need to improve the d aspect of his game if he is to make the leap to the big time.
4. Carl Klingberg - LR: 2
St. John's IceCaps (AHL) - 66GP - 15G - 22A - 37PTS - 39PIM - +2 Playoffs 12GP - 1G - 1A - 2PTS - 0PIM - +0
Winnipeg Jets - 6GP - 0G - 0A - 0PTS - 4PIM - -1
Klingberg started off the season quite hot, but regressed quite a bit as the season went on. Still young, he has size, speed and scoring abilities that could see him develop into something, but he will have to show significant growth before the Jets really give him a shot.
5. Spencer Machacek - LR: N/A
St. John's IceCaps (AHL) - 61GP - 18G - 32A - 50PTS - 48PIM - +11 Playoffs 11GP - 0G - 7A - 7PTS - 12PIM - +1
Winnipeg Jets - 13GP - 2G - 7A - 9PTS - 7PIM - +8
I don't really understand my own thought process when it comes to ranking Machacek at number 5, because I see him as being a member of the Jets next year while I don't see Klingberg or Postma making the opening day roster. I think it has to do with long term potential, as Spencer will be turning 24 when the season begins and should be approaching his prime, while the other guys have more time to flourish. Machacek led the IceCaps in scoring last year, and was also able to contribute quite nicely witht the Jets at the end of the year as injuries saw a line of Tim Stapleton, Ben Maxwell and Machacek surprise everybody by being the most offensive line the Jets had.
6. Edward Pasquale - LR: 5
St. John's IceCaps (AHL) - 38GP - 23W - 12L - 1SOL - 2.41GAA - 0.911SV% - 4SO
IceCaps Playoffs (AHL) - 15GP - 7W - 8L - 2.42GAA - 0.923SV% - 0SO
Currently the picture in goal for next season is a little hazy, as starter Ondrej Pavelec is about to become an RFA, while back-up Chris Mason is a UFA. Mason was looking to see more action in net than he did behind Pavs last year, and it would not surprise me for him to exit and for the Jets to search for another backup. That is where things get interesting regarding Pasquale. Pasquale is very much capable of riding the pine behind Pavelec, as his numbers were solid in the A last year. However, at age 21 he has lots of time to build his game and hone his skills while the Jets can go out and find a suitable backup on the free agent market. I would much rather see Pasquale start the majority of games in St. John's than see him languish on the bench in Winnipeg. His development hinges upon him getting play time, and he;ll get that with the IceCaps, not the Jets. At least for this season. Eventually seeing a tandem goaltending unit with Pavelec and Pasquale splitting responsibilities would be nice, as having a reliable backup capable of playing over 25 games takes a great deal off the shoulders of the "starter". This should still be a couple years off though, so the Jets will have to resolve their free agency issues in net without relying on Pasquale as a backup plan (pun intended)
7. Patrice Cormier - LR: 6
St. John's IceCaps (AHL) - 56GP - 18G - 15A - 33PTS - 75PIM - +0 Playoffs: 15GP - 3G - 0A - 3PTS - 12PIM - -2
Winnipeg Jets - 9GP - 0G - 0A - 0PTS - 0PIM - +0
The Winnipeg Jets recently re-signed veteran Jim Slater for 1.6 million a year for 3 years for his abilities to grind and win faceoffs. Cormier, at age 22, possesses these skills already, being dominant at the dot and a very effective shut down man. He also comes with a cheaper price tag than Slater and would easily fit the role of a 3rd or 4th line Centre in the NHL. Not much offensive upside, but I think he has what it takes defensively to make a career in the NHL more than feasible.
8. Zach Redmond - LR: 7
St. John's IceCaps (AHL) - 72GP - 8G - 23A - 31PTS - 33PIM - +9 Playoffs: 10GP - 1G - 2A - 3PTS - 10PIM - +0
I said this last time, but I am not the beleiver in Redmond that some others *cough*BEN*cough* around these parts, but I still do rate him as a solid defensive talent capable of contributing some points. I just see him more as a guy who will never lock down a permanent spot in the NHL, but will bounce between the NHL and AHL for the next 15 or so years. I foresee him being the next Bryan Helmer. And I don't consider that an insult.
9. Zach Yuen - LR: 8
Tri-City Americans (WHL) - 66GP - 12G - 26A - 38PTS - 46 PIM - +45 Playoffs: 15GP - 1G - 4A - 5PTS - 18PIM
Dominant season for Tri-City this year, which follows an equally impressive season the year before that got him drafted in the 4th round. His offensive talent and great skating are skills to be coveted and he's still only 19. Of all the prospects in the system, this is the one I am most excited about long term. Emphasis on long term, as he has yet to play at the pro level, and we all know there is a rather large transition between juniour and pro.
10. Arturs Kulda - St. Johns IceCaps (AHL) - 10GP - 1G - 4A - 5PTS - 7PIM - +2 LR: 9
Capable of playing two way hockey on defense, he showed that he has the smarts to pinch when necessary and drop back when necessary which led to his posting 20 points while maintaining a +18. Not as offesnively savvy as Postma, but much more reliable defensively. I don't foresee him becoming a top pairing defender in the NHL, but 2nd or 3rd pairing is well within his capabilities.
Dropped out: Austen Brassard (10)
St. John's IceCaps - AHL
Time to restock the cupboards! Draft begins with the first round tomorrow, June 22, with coverage starting at 6 Winnipeg time.