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Top 25 Under 25: #15 Mason Appleton

We’re starting to get into the “I think this player should and could be a full-time NHLer” spots in the rankings.

2015 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Top 25 Under 25 -
#15 - Mason Appleton
6’2” 193 lbs - Right Wing/Centre - Shoots Left
AHL 2017-2018: 76 GP - 22G - 44A - 66PTS - 57PIM

Putting Mason Appleton at number 15 on the Winnipeg Jets Top 25 Under 25 seems a little low, even as I write this. In truth, he could be as high as 11 and I’d be comfortable with it. I love the way he skates, I love the way he passes the puck, I love the way he positions himself on the ice, and I love the way he passes the puck. I also love the way he passes the puck. He just knows where his teammates are.

His pro debut went as well as you could have hoped following his time with Michigan State in the NCAA.

Appleton was named the AHL Rookie of the Year, while coming in fourth in AHL scoring with 66 points in 76 games played for the Manitoba Moose. He added another assist in two playoff games before a concussion ended his post-season.

Appleton will likely be high on the list of call-ups for the Jets this year, depending on how things go in his sophomore campaign. He is likely to land the top line right wing spot, and should have some decent talent on that line to go with him.

So why is he at 15 and not 11? Well, he’s 22 turning 23 this season. He’s also not going to take a top-6 right wing spot from the Jets any time in the next few years. This is a very big season for him in terms of establishing himself as a professional hockey player, and an NHL one at that. He’s very good, and he needs to show that again this year. If Kristian Vesalainen struggles to start the year, I’d swap Appleton into that line with Jack Roslovic and Nikolaj Ehlers. Appleton and Roslovic already have chemistry from their time together with the Moose last year.