Prospect Snap Shot: Winnipeg Jets Prospects in the CHL Playoff Picture

John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Spo

The CHL season is coming to an end and few Winnipeg Jets prospects look to factor pretty heavily into the playoff picture.

The CHL season is winding down. The QMJHL WHL and OHL wrap up on Saturday, Sunday and Monday respectively and then come the playoffs. Playoff runs open up opportunity for prospects to shine and early exits open opportunity for re-assignment - specifically to the St. John's IceCaps. Let's take a look at where Winnipeg Jets prospect's team's rank and what it could mean moving forward.

The first thing that we should note is that 5 of the Winnipeg Jets 8 CHL prospects play for very very good teams.

The following table shows the top 10 ranked teams in the CHL. The bolded teams are home to a Jets' prospect:

1
Kelowna Rockets
54-11-0-4
2
Guelph Storm
50-12-2-1
3
Portland Winterhawks
51-13-2-3
4
London Knights
47-13-1-4
5
Erie Otters
49-14-2-0
6
Baie-Comeau Drakkar
45-16-2-3
7
Victoria Royals
48-17-1-3
8
Rimouski Oceanic
43-15-3-4
9
Halifax Mooseheads
45-18-0-3
10
Edmonton Oil Kings
48-18-2-1

That is the best of the best in the CHL. It wouldn't be a surprise if any of these teams went on a deep playoff runs as all are considered to be in the mix for the Memorial Cup. The fact that there is a Jets' prospect logging big minutes on five of these teams is encouraging.

The Players

Scott Kosmachuk - Guelph Storm: The 2012 3rd round pick is the leading scorer on the CHL's second ranked team. Kossy is a goal scorer and this playoff run will be his last opportunity to score goals in the OHL. He currently ranks third in OHL goal and point scoring and his team is poised to go on a deep playoff run. The Guelph Storm are blessed with three of the OHL's eight 40 goal scorer and six skater among the OHL's top 22 point getters. Kossy won't be asked to go it alone, but he will be an integral part of their playoff run.

Ryan Olsen - Kelowna Rockets: Olsen was drafted in the 6th round of the 2012 NHL draft by the Winnipeg Jets and he signed an ELC this winter. Much like Kossy, this playoff run will mark the end of his CHL career. Luckily for him the fun doesn't look like it will come to an end any time soon. Kelowna is another deep team that comes at opponents in waves. They only have one player who has averaged more than a point per game. Olsen is relied on to play a two way game and chip in when needed. He is currently the team's second leading scorer (4th in points per game). Olsen is a big part of his team. He will need to pull his share if the team is going to advance.

Nic Petan - Portland Winterhawks: Nic Petan is - for the second year in a row - the leading point getter on the WHL's top offensive team. The Winterhawks are also the defending WHL Champions. This year the Hawks are the WHL's second ranked team (behind Olsen and the Rockets), but they are still expected to go on a deep run. They open up versus a Vancouver Giants team that hasn't done much to impress this year, so the things likely won't get too interesting for this squad in the opening round. Regardless of who they play, Nic Petan will be asked to put up points.

Axel Blomqvist - Victoria Royals: The Vic Royals exploded in the second half of the season and they really haven't slowed down. This explosion coincided with the acquisition of Jets' prospect Axel Blomqvist. The Royals now sit fourth in the WHL and third in the very tough Western Conference. Much like the Kelowna Rockets the Royals don't have any overwhelming point-getters. They too only have one player who has put up more than a point per game. Blomqvist's .95 points per game (as a Royal) makes him the team's second most productive scorer. Again, a Jets' prospect is a key cog on a very good team.

Jan Kostalek - Rimouski Oceanic: Jan Kostalek is one the the Jets lesser talked about prospects, but much like those mentioned above he is logging big minutes on a very good team. Rimouski has won a lot of games this year and a lot of their game is built around defense. The Oceanic are curently on a 15 game winning streak in which they have allowed only 26 goals (1.73 GAA). Kostalek is a big part of that. He along with Sam Morin are both NHL drafted talents and they log a lot of ice. Unlike those mentioned above, Kostalek won't be counted on for much in the way of offensive production.

Eric Comrie - Tri-City Americans: Eric Comrie has dragged his team into the playoffs. There really is no other way to say it. Comrie recently set an Americans' franchise record for saves in a season and he has a couple games left to play. Comrie's save percentage ranks 3rd in the WHL despite regularly facing shot totals in the high 30s and low 40s. The Americans are already slotted in as the 8th seed. They will will face the Kelowna Rockets in round one. If the Americans are to pull off an upset, it will be almost entirely on Eric Comrie.

Jimmy Lodge - Saginaw Spirit: Lodge has had an up an down season. He started off slowly as he recovered from an injury, the then took off at a torrid pace - only to go quiet again as the season wound down. Like Lodge, the team has had a bumpy ride. The Spirit have clinched a playoff spot, but they aren't expected to go far. The team is also dealing with the unfortunate loss of twenty year old centre Terry Trafford. It is impossible to know how that situation will impact the team and really at this point, hockey is secondary. Best wishes to the team, the Trafford family and everybdoy else who has been impacted.

Josh Morrissey - Prince Albert Raiders: Josh Morrissey is perhaps the best prospect on this list, but he is last for a reason. His team currently sits 9th in the WHL's Eastern Conference. They haven't been eliminated, but they need help to get in. The Raiders are really a two player team. Top 2014 draft prospect Leon Draisaitl is currently tied for 4th in league scoring. Morrissey leads all defensemen in goal and sits second in points. There is a steep drop off in talent after that.

Whether they get in or not, Josh Morrissey's WHL season is likely nearing an end, while this is unfortunate for his team it isn't all bad. An early exit will open up the possibility of Josh joining the St. John's IceCaps for their playoff push. If he has a successful run playing playoff hockey versus men, perhaps we will see him in Winnipeg sooner rather than later.

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