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Winnipeg Jets Top 25 Under 25: #4 Nikolaj Ehlers

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After a fantastic rookie season, can Nikolaj Ehlers avoid a sophomore slump?

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Acq'd

Truck

Arby

Matt

Andy

Derek

Trevor

Ian

Brian

Cole

Daniel

Allan

Phillip

2013,

9th overall

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Nikolaj Ehlers had a nice first year in the NHL. He started off slow  much to the chagrin of a good segment of the fan base. But most knew that this was due to having to endure the annual rookie hazing of playing on the same line as Chris Thorburn. After surviving that, he found himself on the first line with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, where he finished the year off with 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists). Outside of Patrik Laine, you couldn't have asked for Ehlers to gel with two better players. From what we've seen in training camp so far, it looks like that line will continue to be used this season.

Stats

AIH Author's Thoughts

Truck

Ehlers is a dynamic talent and incredibly fun to watch. So much speed and so much skill. He brings an element to the game that is unmatched on this team. At the junior level he was also an elite finisher, but he was hit and miss in that regard as a rookie. Will it come this year?

Andy

Sophmore seasons in the NHL tend to be affairs that result in lacklustre play, as expectations are high and sometimes met with futility due to their high stature. Ehlers is coming off a fantastic rookie year, going from third line playmaker up to first line buzzsaw with Wheeler. I don't see the sophmore jinx hitting Ehlers though, as he has the smarts and the experience of a gradual first year to help him thru the second.

Brian

If Ehlers avoids a sophomore slump, the line with him, Scheifele and Wheeler could be a tour de force around the league. Long term, I'd like to see him paired with Laine on their prefered wings.

Summary

There really is no where to go but up for Nikolaj Ehlers. He's fast and has both the ability to score and set up goals for his teammates. The line of Ehlers-Scheifele-Wheeler was scary good during the end of the season despite the fact that it was all done during garbage time. I think Ehlers will soon be a superstar in this league and don't be surprised in the future if we see him on the same line as Laine. Now that is truly terrifying for other teams.

What are your thoughts on our #4 pick, Nikolaj Ehlers? Do you expect a sophomore slump or an upward trend? Let us know in the comments below!