Winnipeg Jets Training Camp and Young Stars Roster

USA TODAY Sports

Taking a deeper look into Jets prospects and some undrafted players invited to the prospect camp.

The roster for Septemeber 5th prospect camp and the Vancouver Canucks 2013 Young Stars Classic Tournament has been announced. This is a good time for a little update on the Winnipeg Jets' top prospects and also an introduction to some new or unknown players.

The Jets' brass has decided to go with a younger roster with a solid mix of skill and grit; you can see the official list here. This isn't true of all teams; for example, the face-punching Oilers are bringing an interesting roster.

To minimize the differences in league scoring, the NHL equivalencies (recently updated by Rob Vollman) of each player's per-game scoring is shown below, thus leveling the playing field in point production between the NCAA, AHL, and CHL.

Centre

Name Birth Year NHLE G/GP NHLE A/GP NHLE P/GP
Mark Scheifele 1993 0.26 0.27 0.53
Nic Petan 1995 0.16 0.26 0.42
Adam Lowry 1993 0.16 0.15 0.31
Ryan Olsen 1994 0.12 0.09 0.20
Lukas Sutter 1993 0.05 0.04 0.08

Notes:

The Winnipeg Jets' centre depth for prospects has vastly improved since the move to Winnipeg, where two of their top natural centres were Patrice Cormier and Eric O`Dell.

Mark Scheifele has developed as expected for a top 10 pick and will certainly centre the top line for the tournament. By bringing five centres who are all under the Jets' control, it is likely that one of them will play on the wing rather than being the 13th forward. Nicolas Petan would likely thrive in a scoring role as the second centre, although the Jets' brass may want to see Adam Lowry given significant minutes at centre instead of top line on the left wing.

Former teammates Ryan Olsen and Lukas Sutter will likely be battling for the checking centre roles, with both players possessing solid size and tenacity. Olsen had a more offensively successful season, playing as the second line pivot and on the main man-advantage unit. Meanwhile, Sutter's offensive season was a bit of a disappointment, racking up a small fraction of his previous season's production and being relegated to the fourth line.

Left Wing

Name Birth Year NHLE G/GP NHLE A/GP NHLE P/GP
Mitchell Theoret 1993 0.13 0.18 0.30
Axel Blomqvist 1995 0.03 0.11 0.14

Notes:

With Ivan Telegin injured, Adam Lowry's emergence as a centre, Jordan Samuels-Thomas going back to school for one final year, and Carl Klingberg's absence on the roster, the Jets do not have any protected natural left wing players on the roster.

This opens up an opportunity for one of Mark Scheifele's teammates on the Barrie Colts, the newly unprotected Mitchell Theoret. A former New York Islanders 7th round draft pick in 2011, Theoret combines decent size at 200+ lbs with enough offensive skill to not look out of place when he was bumped into the first line with two of Scheifele, Zach Hall, and Anthony Camara.

The recently undrafted Axel Blomqvist is an interesting take. He was ranked 163 for NA skaters by Central Scouting and the year prior he was top 5 scorer for 1995's in the Sweedish U18 elite league. At 6'5 he matches Adam Lowry for ridiculous forward height and, like Lowry, he may just need time to fill out his frame.

Right Wing

Name Birth Year NHLE G/GP NHLE A/GP NHLE P/GP
JC Lipon 1993 0.15 0.22 0.36
Jimmy Lodge 1995 0.13 0.18 0.31
Scott Kosmachuk 1994 0.15 0.13 0.29
Jerome Verrier 1994 0.13 0.15 0.28
Austen Brassard 1993 0.07 0.09 0.16
Jean Dupuy 1994 0.03 0.02 0.05

Notes:

The 2013 draft class improved the Jets overall depth in this position by a great deal. This should be an interesting battle to see who gets the top roster spots at the tourney.

JC Lipon was skipped over twice in the draft, predominately due to size issues, but was picked up by the Jets in the 2013 draft after a late growth spurt, a solid year in the WHL (outpacing fellow Jets' WHL prospect Adam Lowry) and even some recognition from Hockey Canada by playing at the World Junior Hockey Championships.

Jimmy Lodge is another addition from the 2013 draft class. Lodge is considered by many to be a steal for the Jets, having an explosive second half (1.5 points per game) after becoming a mainstay on the Saginaw Spirit's top line. While Lodge may have the most offensive upside of all the right wing players, his lack of weight and experience may place him behind either Scott Kosmachuk, JC Lipon, or both.

Kosmachuk and Austen Brassard make up the rest of the Jets prospects. The feisty Kosmachuk has had a lot of success playing predominately on the top line for the Guelph Storm; his combination of quick release while driving-to-the-net being the main cause. Austen Brassard is also known for his aggressive game but has not been as successful, although while playing on a very offensively challenged Belleville Bulls team. His year was very unique, including a suspension for fighting a player who was on the other teams bench (being placed there by a very hard check from Brassard) and a few games played as a defenseman due to injuries on the team.

Jerome Verrier is an undersized winger at 5'11 and exploded offensively in the QMJHL this season. I'm unsure where he will fit with JC Lipon, Scott Kosmachuk and Jimmy Lodge likely taking the top 3 RW spots (unless one goes on to their off-wing) and Austen Brassard most likely taking the 4th checking/energy line; he may end up as the 13th forward or perhaps in Lodge's spot if Lodge still hasn't recovered from the injury that took him out of the USA WJC camp.

Jean Dupuy, like Blomqvist, squeaked into the Central Scouting final list but went undrafted. He was used as a bottom line energy & penalty-kill guy and will likely fall into the same role here. It should be noted he actually prefers to play on the left side, unlike what the Jets' website states, and will likely be playing there due to lack of natural left wingers.

Defense

Name Birth Year NHLE G/GP NHLE A/GP NHLE P/GP Shoots
Brenden Kichton 1992 0.08 0.22 0.30 Right
Jacob Trouba 1994 0.10 0.14 0.24 Right
Joshua Morrissey 1995 0.05 0.11 0.17 Left
Zach Bell 1993 0.03 0.08 0.11 Right
Cody Sol 1991 0.05 0.05 0.11 Left
Jan Kostalek 1995 0.03 0.07 0.09 Right
Ty Stanton 1995 0.01 0.08 0.09 Left

Notes:

Jacob Trouba's success at the University of Michigan is well documented and known throughout Jets fandom. He and 2013 first round selection Joshua Morrissey will likely both play in the top 4, and hopefully together. Professional veteran Cody Sol (likely brought in to protect the Jets' draft picks with face-punching) would then likely be paired with WHL defenseman of the year Brenden Kichton. Kichton was a re-draft picked up as a late round flyer after failing to agree to terms with New York Islanders; he will likely be getting a good look at joining JC Lipon, Adam Lowry, Austen Brassard, Yassin Cisse and maybe Lukas Sutter as AHL rookies in St. Johns.

Jan Kostalek, thought as a no-mistakes-smooth-skating-defensman much like the late Zach Yuen (Ed. Note: He is no longer a Jet, but he isn't dead) and has a very impressive international resume, will probably take the 3rd RHD position. The final position will then be a battle between Zach Bell and Ty Stanton. Both are physical shutdown types, with Bell being a righty and Stanton a lefty.

Goaltending

Name Birth Year SV% League
Juho Olkinuora 1990 0.927 WCHA
Eric Comrie 1995 0.915 WHL

Notes:

Juho Olkinuora is a large goalie at 6'2 and 200 lbs. Along with Jason Kasdorf and Connor Hellebuyck, he ranked in the top 15 for NCAA save percentage.  Olkinuora will be the oldest player wearing Jets colours in Penticton.

Eric Comrie is returning from injury. He recently received high praise at Team Canada's WtJC camp where he stopped 37 of 40 shots (0.925 sv%) in his first game situation since January this year.

Predicted Lineup

Lowry – Scheifele – Lipon

Theoret – Petan – Lodge

Blomqvist – Olsen – Kosmachuk

Dupuy – Sutter – Brassard

13th: Verrier

Morrissey – Trouba

Sol – Kichton

Stanton – Kostalek

7th: Bell

Olkinuora

Comrie

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