Recapping the Draft: Winnipeg Jets build prospect pool with ten selections in 2013 NHL Draft

Jamie Squire

After selecting a glut of talented scorers to flood their prospect pool, the Winnipeg Jets were instant Draft Day winners.

The 2013 NHL Draft is now in the books and with that, it's time to take a look at the Winnipeg Jets' selections and mock them without mercy laud and praise their brilliance critique them as objectively as possible.

Kevin Cheveldayoff and Co. had ten picks to play with heading into yesterday's action and even after trading a third and fifth rounder for the services of Chicago Blackhawks winger Michael Frolik, were able to swing another deal with the Washington Capitals to recoup picks in the third and fourth.

Now it's time to review the talent attained with those picks. Let's start off by talking a look at the draft board:

Winnipeg Jets 2013 Draft Board
Player Name Junior Team Pick Number
Joshua Morrissey* (D) Prince Albert Raiders 13 (1st)
Nicolas Petan* (C) Portland Winterhawks 43 (2nd)
Eric Comrie* (G) Tri-City Americans 59 (2nd)
Jimmy Lodge* (C) Saginaw Spirit 84 (3rd)
J.C. Lipon (RW) Kamloops Blazers 91 (3rd)
Andrew Copp (C) University of Michigan 104 (4th)
Jan Kostalek* (D) Rimouski Océanic 114 (4th)
Tucker Poolman (D) Omaha Lancers 127 (5th)
Brenden Kichton (D) Spokane Chiefs 190 (7th)
Marcus Karlström (D) AIK Jr. 194 (7th)
*Denotes players ranked in Craig Button's Top 75.

Draft Review: Though the pick of Joshua Morrissey in the first round could be deemed as a slight stretch, the art of trading down more than a couple of picks is normally an effort in futility. Luckily for those perturbed with the Morrissey pick, the scouting staff hit home-run after home-run in rounds two through four by selecting a plethora of players ranked inside Craig Button's Top 75. Nic Petan, Jimmy Lodge, J.C. Lipon and Jan Kostalek were all great value picks at their positions and that bodes well for a staff that has forged a history in going off the board with mid-round draft selections.

If you could typecast Winnipeg's draft in just one word, "scoring" would be an apt way to describe what Kevin Cheveldayoff targeted in his prospect pool today. TNSE acquired two of the top fifteen scoring WHL defencemen in Morrissey and Brenden Kichton (originally drafted by the New York Islanders in 2011). Furthermore, Petan (46), Lipon (36) and Lodge (28) were also notable scorers with their CHL teams as well.

"Ultimately you're here to restock and stock your teams with young talent and future building blocks for your organization. That is really the first and foremost topic on our minds." -Kevin Cheveldayoff (Canada.com)

What comes as a welcomed surprise to fans is the fact that Winnipeg's scouting staff was able to break a two year cycle that saw them draft nothing but big, North American skaters. Morrissey, Lipon and Kichton are all a shade under 6'0" while Petan stands at only 5'8". Regardless, it seems that for once, skill trumped size on the draft board; a huge positive if this team is going to be successful moving forward. Jan Kostalek and Marcus Karlström were the Jets' first two European picks since moving back to the Keystone province, bucking yet another recent trend.

Being able to acquire a former first round pick and an everyday NHLer in Frolik for a pair of mid-round picks was fantastic value, considering how much he will boost the Jets' underwhelming bottom six. In fact, it isn't outside the realm of possibility that Frolik snags a second line role, all depending on what Cheveldayoff is able to wangle during the upcoming free agency period.

All in all, this will likely be TNSE's best draft to date as they were able to amass a bevy of talent that instantly improves a weakened prospect pool. While this draft will take at least three years to grade itself out, early indications are that the Winnipeg Jets were one of the 2013 Draft Day winners.

Best Value Acquisitions: Nicolas Petan, Jimmy Lodge, J.C. Lipon, Jan Kostalek, Brendan Kichton, Michael Frolik.

Draft Grade: A-

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