Winnipeg Jets 2013 third round draft pick J.C. Lipon is an interesting case. He was eligible to be drafted in 2011, Jets 2.0 first draft, but was passed over twice. There's a bit of hypocrisy to be frank with him being so late in some of our votes at a numbers based blog. Lipon out-pacing #7 voted Adam Lowry in his final CHL season and showed impressive developmental progress; however, Lipon is new and needs time to prove he is more than just a flash in the frying pan. He could very well be the biggest riser next year.
We had a draw for sixteen and seventeen, so Arctic Ice Hockey asked for the services of "Friend of The Blog" Melissa Martin to break the tie.
Melissa Martin tie-breaking vote: Julian Melchiori
Previous Rank: NR
Third time the charm?
JC Lipon has never had much luck when it comes to drafts. He was never drafted to the CHL but did make the Kamloops Blazers as a UFA out of camp. Only fifty-seven players surpassed the 10 games mark in the WHL that season at sixteen years of age, Jets JC Lipon and Adam Lowry were two of such. Lowry is actually a good comparable for Lipon's development, as they are similar in age, in the same league and many of us already have read the Lowry overview. JC Lipon had a very middling offensive season, with his 13 points placing him at 20th for U17 players and about half the points per game that of Lowry.
In Lipon's draft season he didn't improve much, potting the same amount of goals and only eight extra assists in eight extra games played. A combination of poor offensive numbers and being very much undersized caused Lipon to be passed in the NHL entry draft. He did start to show an aggressive side though, almost tripling his penalty minutes from the season prior. His draft year point production rate is actually the lowest of any of the Jets' forwards prospects and even lower than many of the defensemen. Lowry in the meantime had nearly doubled Lipon's production again.
Lipon matched identical 111 penalty minutes from the season prior, but finally started to display that the kid could score. He placed 4th in his team scoring and was both eighth for overall scoring and twelfth for points per game for those under 19. JC's 0.94 points per game was still outpaced by Lowry's 1.03 but he passed Lukas Sutter, Ryan Olsen and Austen Brassard for Draft+1 production. Even with his impressive production, he was passed in the draft, most likely as his lack of size overshadowed his offensive results in the eyes of scouts.
Lipon continued his upward offensive trend from the year prior. JC LIpon finished as the eleventh highest scorer in the WHL, relative to Adam Lowry's tenth, and sixth highest points per game. Lipon's Draft+2 production currently is eclipsed only by Mark Scheifele and Ivan Telegin's. JC also was a surprise pick for a very stacked but ultimately disappointing World Junior's Team Canada squad. With the high increase in proven scoring and a late growth spurt --albeit still being below average size-- Lipon was finally drafted for the first point of his career.
One random note regarding JC
Just a little bit of FYI: JC does not actually stand for anything. His legal Name is JC.
IceCaps fan favourite
In camp JC showed his versatility. He quickly identified the need to protect Nicolas Petan against a "pro-face-punching" Edmonton Oilers club at the Penticton prospects tournament. Lipon was poised with and without the puck, cycling with Petan and being strong in his positioning at both ends. He won an ELC at camp, even though the Jets did not need to sign Lipon to an NHL contract for a few seasons, unless they planned on having him play regular season games with the big club.
His combination of spark and offensive upside should make him a strong candidate for being a fan favourite over at the IceCaps, a team that last year was in stark need for what JC Lipon can provide.