The Winnipeg Jets have had success in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft by acquiring players like Mark Scheifele, Jacob Trouba, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Patrik Laine. All four of those players have been top-ten picks. When picking outside of the top-ten they have selected Kyle Connor, Jack Roslovic, and Logan Stanley.
The Jets are famous for not tipping their hands if they will draft a forward or a defenceman, but they have found success at both positions. With more forwards coming up the pipeline than defencemen and a draft that has some talented blueliners available, it would not be surprising to see the Jets go with a defender.
After a couple of mistakes because the GM was paying more attention to tea than the draft list, a selection was made and...
The Winnipeg Jets are proud to select, from the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League, Juuso Välimäki 13th overall.
Juuso Valimaki 2017 NHL Draft profile | SB Nation NHL Draft Match
Defenseman Juuso Valimaki is a well-rounded 2017 NHL draft prospect.Posted by SB Nation NHL on Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Välimäki should help shore up a squad of defensive prospects that are lacking any high end talent. While he has his flaws, like any player, his strengths far outweigh them.
Välimäki’s greatest strength is his offensive abilities, which he showcased the past two seasons. According to McKeen’s, his puck-moving abilities outweigh his shooting abilities, which is saying something because he scored 19 goals this past season.
Välimäki was also able to show his improvement from season to season in the WHL after he came over as a 17 year old. He is a late birthday, missing the cut off for last year’s draft by just under a month. He is fine at defending when he does not have to move too much. While he is a strong skater once he gets going, it takes him a few strides to get there.
A team is never going to draft the perfect player at 13 and that is clear with Välimäki, but his strengths outweigh his flaws and make him a good value pick for the Jets at 13 and he fills an organizational need in the process.