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Flight Training: November 2018

Updating how the Winnipeg Jets’ prospects have fared so far this season

Mikhail Berdin with the Manitoba Moose
Jonathan Kozub/Manitoba Moose

For the first time in the 2018-19 hockey year, we take a look at how the Winnipeg Jets’ prospects are doing.

To be eligible for this list, a player cannot be up with the big club, or be over the age of 25 (sorry Tucker Poolman). So my apologies to Mason Appleton, Sami Niku, Nelson Nogier, and Brendan Lemieux.

Top 10 Prospects

1. Kristian Vesalainen (19) - Jokerit (KHL) -
KHL Regular Season - 3 GP - 2G - 0A - 2PTS - 0PIM
AHL Regular Season - 8 GP - 3G - 5A - 8PTS - 2PIM
NHL Regular Season - 5 GP - 1G - 0A - 1PTS - 0PIM

He’s with his third pro club of the year after exercising the European out clause in his contract, but Kristian Vesalainen remains the top prospect for the Jets. His cameo with the NHL team was less than successful, but his eight points in eight games for the Manitoba Moose exhibited a lot of promise, and he has two power play goals to his name in three games with Jokerit so far, as he looks a mirror image of Patrik Laine with the one timer. He’ll probably be joining the Finnish team at the World Junior’s, but that’s not confirmed yet.

2. Mikhail Berdin (20) - Manitoba Moose (AHL) -
AHL Regular Season - 4GP - 3-1-0 - 2.20GAA - .937 SV% - 0 SO
ECHL Regular Season - 12GP - 10-2-0 - 2.35GAA - .916 SV% - 1 SO

He’s not even the starting goaltender for the Manitoba Moose, but has done more to impress me in his 16 game pro career than Eric Comrie has. Berdin recently got called up to the Moose to replace Ken Appleby as Comrie’s backup, with Appleby going down to Jacksonville.

3. Michael Spacek (21) - Manitoba Moose (AHL)
Regular Season: 21GP - 1G - 12A - 13PTS - 6PIM

Spacek started the season slow with the Manitoba Moose, with just one assist to show for himself after the first six games of the season. Things have picked up a bit for the 21-year-old since, with 12 points in 15 games, including a three assist showing last night against the Bakersfield Condors. With call-ups, injuries and the departure of Kristian Vesalainen, Spacek found himself centring the top line between Jansen Harkins and Logan Shaw.

4. Marko Dano (24) - Manitoba Moose (AHL) -
AHL Regular Season: 2GP - 0G - 1A - 2PTS - 7PIM
NHL Regular Season: 8GP - 0G - 0A - 0PTS - 7PIM

A healthy scratched, waived, picked up by the Colorado Avalanche, waived again, picked up by the Jets and assigned to the Moose. Marko Dano has been well travelled this season, and his limited time in Colorado was less than stellar. But I just can’t get past the fact that he has previously shown he can produce at the NHL level. One of the things working against him is he hasn’t even been allowed to develop: since the start of the 2015 season, when he was 21 years old, he has played 145 pro games. There have been some injuries in there, but there have also been a lot of healthy scratches.

5. Declan Chisholm (18) - Peterborough Petes (OHL) -
Regular Season: 28 GP - 3G - 25A - 28PTS - 18PIM

Chisholm was a steal of a pick in the fifth round of this year’s draft, and was likely in consideration for the Team Canada World Junior Team, having been selected to play in the Canada-Russia Series. He leads the Petes in scoring, and is tied for fourth among all defenders in league scoring.

6. C.J. Suess (24) - Manitoba Moose (AHL) -
Regular Season: 61 GP - 15G - 27A - 42PTS - 93PIM

With five goals and six points in his first six AHL games this year, it looked as though C.J. Suess was set to become a star, and part of an offensive powerhouse Manitoba Moose team. Then a cold reality set in. The Moose have struggled, and so has Suess. He has four points (1+3) in his last 17 games. Suess needs to reconnect with what made him successful in the early days of the season.

7. Dylan Samberg (19) - Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA)-
Regular Season: 13GP - 2G - 2A - 4PTS - 21PIM

Dylan Samberg will return to the World Juniors this year, looking to build upon the bronze medal he picked up last time around, along with his four points in seven games. His offensive numbers continue to be less than impressive, as he’s fourth in scoring among defenders on his own team.

8. Luke Green (20) - Manitoba Moose (AHL)-
Regular Season: 10GP - 1G - 2A - 3PTS - 8PIM

After being a healthy scratch for the earliest chunk of the season, Luke Green has found his way into the lineup with the Moose, and looks to stay there. He is one of 12 Moose defenders to play so far this season, and is not exactly the highest on the pecking order of call ups, as Sami Niku, Tucker Poolman, Cameron Schilling and Nelson Nogier have all received the call this year. However, the way things stand right now he is currently playing on the Moose top pairing.

9. David Gustafsson (18) - HV71 Jonkoping (SweHL)
Regular Season: 11GP - 0G - 3A - 3PTS - 0PIM

After being drafted in the second round of this year’s draft by the Jets, David Gustafsson suffered an ankle injury in pre-season training that kept him out for a good chunk of time. He has played in half of his team’s 22 games thus far, and has three assists with no goals at this point. He’ll be part of Team Sweden at the upcoming World Juniors, and will be looking to build off of his seven points in seven games performance at least year’s U18 event.

10. Santeri Virtanen (19) - SaiPa Lappeenranta (SM-liiga)-
Regular Season: 26GP - 5G - 2A - 7PTS - 6PIM

After spending last season with Dubuque in the USHL, Virtanen in now playing in the Finnish elite league with SaiPa, and has been named to the Finnish World Junior team.


Prospects 2018-2019


League Team Name Pos GP G A Pts PIM Birthdate Round/Year
League Team Name Pos GP G A Pts PIM Birthdate Round/Year
AJHL Okotoks Austin Wong C 32 19 24 43 111 26-Aug-00 Round 7/2018
QMJHL Cape Breton Leon Gawanke D 37 11 23 34 20 31-May-99 Round 5/2017
OHL Peterborough Petes Declan Chisholm D 41 3 29 32 22 12-Jan-00 Round 5/2018
OHL Oshawa Giovanni Vallati D 43 9 21 30 48 21-Feb-00 Round 5/2018
USHL Cedar Rapids Nathan Smith C 31 9 19 28 59 19-Oct-98 Round 3/2018
NCAA Merrimack College Jonathan Kovacevic D 20 4 8 12 8 12-Jul-97 Round 3/2017
KHL Jokerit Kristian Vesalainen W 18 5 7 12 0 1-Jun-99 Round 1/2017
SM-liiga SaiPa Santeri Virtanen C 30 5 3 8 6 11-May-99 Round 4/2017
NCAA Minnesota-Duluth Dylan Samberg D 17 2 3 5 21 24-Jan-99 Round 2/2017
SweHL HV71 Jonkoping David Gustafsson C 16 0 4 4 8 11-Apr-00 Round 2/2018
KHL Yaroslavl Pavel Kraskovsky F 22 1 1 2 6 11-Sep-96 Round 6/2014
NCAA UMass-Lowell Croix Evingson D 13 0 2 2 2 28-Aug-97 Round 7/2017
League Team Name GP Min GA GAA W L OTL/SOL SO
ECHL Jacksonville Mikhail Berdin 19 1083 46 2.55 13 5 0 1
Allsvenskan Karlskrona HK Arvid Holm 22 1287 55 2.56 12 9 0 1
USHL Waterloo Jared Moe 24 1229 64 3.13 10 7 1 1