Previous Rank: NR
Holy hell! Nikolaj Ehlers had himself a year! He went from unknown Danish junior, to elite prospects in just a matter of months.
Over the course of the 2013-2014 earned himself the following accolades:
CHL Rookie of the Year
QMJHL All-Rookie Team
QMJHL Best Plus/Minus (+65)
QMJHL Best Professional Prospect "Mike Bossy Trophy"
QMJHL Most Assists by Rookie (55)
QMJHL Most Goals by Rookie (49)
QMJHL Most Points by Rookie (104)
QMJHL Offensive Rookie of the Year "Michel Bergeron Trophy"
QMJHL Rookie of the Year
QMJHL Second All-Star Team
U20 WJC (D1A) Gold Medal
None too shabby for a rookie.
Ehlers is a versatile athlete with some serious soccer playing ability, but he also hails from a hockey family. Nik's dad was drafted into the NHL and his brother plays professional hockey in Denmark. Nik looks to be the best and brightest of that bunch and he has a chance to be among his nation's all time best.
Ehlers is likely to return to Halifax for another Junior season. He will be asked to play a bigger role on a team that will be without super prospect Jonathan Drouin. Of course there is also the outside chance that Ehlers could make the Jets. He has the skill, but is he ready?
AIH Authors' Thoughts:
Ehlers is perhaps the most awe inspiring prospect to be drafted by this iteration of the Winnipeg Jets. He is arguably the best skater the Jets have seen, with incredible speed, balance, strength and agility. He has incredible hands. He's also smart and tenacious and he's blessed with an extremely hard and accurate shot. There is very little that Ehlers can't do. If he can add some mass and this kid has the potential to be a top line player at the NHL level.
Ehlers was the guy that I was really hoping the Jets would take this past summer, and he certainly showed why he looks like a keeper as he dazzled at the Dev. Camp. He looks like he's the total package, though he'll need to bulk up a bit before he can terrorize the NHL. He's my favourite prospect that currently isn't a Jet regular.
Looking back at my voting tendencies, I think I weighted proven a tad high and potential a tad low... I demand a recount!
In my opinion Ehlers has the potential to be the best Jets 2.0 draft pick to date and I don't see him getting there as a long shot. The kid oozes skill. He's one of the most exciting guys to watch with the puck. So glad the Jets took him over Ritchie. So glad.
Probably the first Jets 2.0 pick that actually has a chance to stick in the first year. The Jets have room in their top 9 for a winger. If he can play at the NHL level on either wing, it would be interesting to see him paired up with either Kane or Wheeler.
By the Numbers: Jets 2014 Draft