Getting to know your new Winnipeg Jets: Joshua Morrissey, Nicolas Petan, Eric Comrie and Jimmy Lodge

Bruce Bennett

The NHL Draft has come and gone. You now know the names, but do you really know who the Jets drafted?

Now that the 2013 NHL Draft has completed, it's time that we take an in depth look at the Winnipeg Jets' haul. General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff hoarded ten draft picks in this summer's draft, with which he addressed every roster position imaginable. So now, let's break it down player by player and introduce ourselves to the first batch of your new Jets' prospects.

Round 1, Pick #13: Joshua Morrisey

Left Defenceman 6'0", 185 lbs Prince Albert Raiders

Josh Morrissey is a smooth skating offensive defender who has a boat load of skill. He is a tad undersized, but he isn't tiny and he has time to fill out physically. Picking him at 13 has seemingly rubbed some the wrong way as he wasn't ranked that high on many draft rankings, but he did land 18th on the consensus list and 15th on Button's list, so any reach was marginal. Still, he may remain forever linked to Ryan Poluck in the eyes of some Jets fans.

More pluses:

Josh has played well internationally and wore an 'A' at the under 18s.

76% of CHL D men who scored .6 points per game in their pre draft season have lived up to their draft status.

Morrissey has drawn comparisons to Kris Letang.

Josh was one of the few top draft eligible D men that routinely faced the opposition's best players.

Lets hope Josh continues that trend.

Corey Pronman says:

Morrissey is a dynamic offensive defenseman with a ton of plus skills. He has amassed a considerable number of points for a 1995 birthdate over his last two WHL seasons. His strongest tool is his skating, which is easily high end, if not better. He has a very graceful stride, and his footwork is precise in any direction. His top gear, agility, pivots, and gap control stand out in each game he plays. He is also a top-end puck mover, frequently making aware and accurate passes. He can run the point on a top power play unit, jump into the rush, make a good outlet, and flash a highlight reel play with the puck. His defensive awareness is solid, and he has killed penalties at times. Still, he faces a significant issue in his physicality. I would not describe him as soft, as he can make a quality hit at times, but he often is outmuscled for pucks. Coupling this aspect of his game with his undersized frame makes him a risk at the top level.

Craig Button Says:

Josh is a very good skater with excellent agility and quickness and he uses this very well to jump into the attack offensively or to close on the play defensively. He will hit and looks to deliver open ice hits. He has learned to 'manage' all of the aspects of defence and is more capable of playing the demanding minutes. Very good puck skills with a good shot and has very good vision and contributes offensively. He competes and wants to make a difference in the game and has the means to do it, whether it be defensively, offensively or physically.

Button also gave Morrissey the following ratings:

IQ - 4.5/5

Skating - 5/5

Playmaking - 4/5

Competetiveness - 5/5

Shot - 4/5

Physicality - 4/5

Enough with the words - Here is a video:

You can follow Josh Morrissey on Twitter at @Morrissey_10.

Round 2, Pick #43: Nicolas Petan

Centre 5'9", 155 Portland Winterhawks

Petan is one of the most interesting picks in the draft. The kid broke out offensively in a big way, but there has been some debate about how much of it was him versus his teammates inflating his counting stats. The Portland Winterhawks were a dominant team, boasting the likes or Ty Rattie, Brendan Leipsic, Seth Jones and Derrick Pouliot. Still, Petan finished the season with 120 points and was 3rd on his team (and the entire WHL) in points per game. With Jones, Rattie and Possibly Leipsic moving on this offseason, we will find out exactly what Petan is made of. Also worth noting - unlike Max Domi - Petan is slender. His size will be his biggest obstacle moving forward.

More Pluses:

Kent Wilson at Flames Nation says Petan drove a lot of the Hawks offence.

This numbers based ranking had him ranked at 19 ahead of Horvat.

Craig Button had Petan at 17, also ahead of Horvat and many others.

Corey Pronman says:

Petan was a co-leader in WHL scoring, contributing to Portland's league championship and berth in the Memorial Cup. He is a highly skilled individual, bleeding puck possession tools. He can make high level plays with the puck, be it in terms of controlling it, outmaneuvering opponents, or making top-end passes. He is a very creative, instinctive offensive player, showing a knack for turning normal plays into scoring chances. He has the pace to play in tight spaces. Petan is certainly a small player, but that helps him with shiftiness, as he is difficult to check in open ice. He possesses a nice first step, and he can move at an above-average level. He has a quality shot, and despite his size, he shows decent defensive ability. His diminutive stature (between 5'8" and 5'9") is his only glaring weakness, and overcoming it will be a challenge. Scouts have described him as feisty in terms of the effort and battle he displays.

Craig Button says:

Nicolas is an outstanding talent. Quick, fast, agile in his feet, his hands and in his head. He makes things happen and is a great competitor. He is exactly the type of player with physical maturity that could put him in the ‘draft steal’ category.

Time for a video:

You can follow Nic Petan on Twitter at @petan19.

Round 2, Pick #59: Eric Comrie

Goaltender 6'1", 175 Tri City Americans

Chevy and Co have seemingly hit pretty big on a couple recent goalie prospects, but that didn't stop them from taking one of the top rated goalies in the draft. Comrie ranked 52 on the concensus list, but was ranked higher by both Greg Button (49) and Bob McKenzie (37). Eric Comrie is a workhorse that earned a great reputation while playing for a struggling Tri-City American's squad. It is also worth noting that Eric is coming off hip surgery (not related to injury). Eric is the younger brother of former NHLer Mike Comrie.

More pluses:

Comrie was in discussion as a possible 1st round pick prior to his surgery.

McKeen's had Comrie ranked 28th overall in February.

You never know with a goalie.

Craig Button says:

Eric has the qualities of a workhorse goaltender. He reads plays very well and gets himself into position to close off chances. He moves well and doesn’t compromise his positioning in doing so. Very good lateral quickness and agility. Very competitive and never gives up on a play.
Comrie has decent size and good technique as a hybrid goalie. He has very good lateral movement and gets side to side quickly and efficiently. He reads the play well and shows excellent puck tracking as he is rarely caught out of position. His quick legs do a great job of taking away the bottom of the net. He also has a very quick glove hand which helps him to take away the top portions.

Comrie plays a very aggressive style and comes out far to cut down angles and take away net from shooters. He has excellent backwards skating which allows him to do this and recover if a forward tries to deke him to the net. Like many young goalies, he does need work on his rebound control and this is the biggest issue in his game today. He does show the ability to recover quickly and square up to rebounds which does help him recover quickly, however the rebound control must also still improve.

Comrie has real high end potential. He could become a starting goalie in the NHL if he reaches his ceiling. He will need time at the minor league level though and is a good pick for a team looking to build organizational depth amongst their goalies. His style is similar to Semyon Varlamov, but this is just a stylistic comparison and not one based on potential.

A short film:

You can follow Eric Comrie on Twitter at @ericcomrie1.


Round 3, Pick #84: Jimmy Lodge

Centre/Right Wing 6'2", 166 Saginaw Spirit

You may remember Jimmy Lodge from the AIH 2nd Round Draft Targets article. He is the only one that actually landed on the team albeit in round three. Button had Lodge at 56, the consensus list had Lodge at 53 and Corey Pronman had him at 40. No matter what ranking you look at, Jimmy was excellent value at 84.

Corey Pronman says:

Lodge is a skilled forward, who developed well over the 2012-13 OHL campaign, as he exceeded one point per game. He is not a finished product by any means, but he has a significant amount of upside. He has high-end puck skills, conveying the overall look of a skilled player. He is very coordinated in his puck handling, with the ability to make top-level plays. Lodge has good offensive instincts, manifesting both in his puck creativity and in his gifted passing and crisp distributions. He can execute difficult plays. He is a solid to above-average skater as well. Still, his physical game leaves a little to be desired. He has improved in that area, but he could stand to be more consistent in his physicality, as well as to gain strength. He also tends to fly out of his zone a tad too quickly.

Dan Stewart says:

After starting very slowly for the Saginaw Spirit, Jimmy Lodge became a point-per-game player in November and December. Now he is on a rabid scoring pace since the calendar flipped and has shown a more consistent game of taking the puck to the net and venturing into high traffic areas for those prime offensive chances.

Lodge has all but eliminated those fly-bys that made him so ineffective and held him out of the play back in September and October while earning more ice time from his coach.

More pluses:

Lodge recorded 22 points in his first 32 games this year. He posted 48 points in the remaining 32.

Lodge is very slender at 6'2, 166lbs, but that mean he has lots of room to grow.

Top 6 upside at pick 84 is really really nice.

Highlights:

Analysis

The first four picks yielded some interesting returns. Morrissey could be considered a bit of a reach, but there was decent value in the other three. All four picks are high on upside, but also contain an element of risk. It is quite interesting to see that the first three players drafted in this class are considered undersized at their position. Lodge has average height, but is very slight. The strategy of drafting for size seems to have disappeared.


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