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NHL Mock Draft 2022: Winnipeg Jets select Danila Yurov No. 14 overall

2021 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championships - Final Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets decided to go off their normal board early on and went to Russia to find a talented forward in Danila Yurov who is struggling to find a team that will challenge him in the correct league. He played 23 games in the MHL this season and scored 36 points, but when he was in the KHL this season, he played 21 games and had zero points. According to information from Habs Eyes on the Prize, he managed those zero points in less than four minutes of ice time on average. It is hard to judge a player based on that.

Yurov seems to play well when facing off against his peers, but the question with him has to be where is the best place for him to be challenged and to develop if he is not in North America next year. He does need to be in a place where he plays, but that does not necessarily mean he has to be in North America. The VHL, if still around, would be a honest option in Russia. He might start getting more playing time, but he might not.

There is also the whole Russia is at war with Ukraine right now angle which is an interesting one to watch. It is sometimes easy to forget Russia is under sanctions right now and that does make it harder for them to play hockey internationally. While Yurov can still travel to Canada for the draft in Montreal, he does not have playing options in North America outside of the AHL and NHL. The CHL made the very short-sighted and dumb decision to ban Russians and Belarussians. Instead, Yurov and other young Russians will have to find their own way.

With Yurov, the Jets will get a skilled forward who may or may not be able to play in North America soon and may or may not be able to play in a men’s league soon. He is ranked #14 in Bob McKenzie’s ranking which is a good spot for him and not quite a bargain, but not not a bargain. He’s a good player who is hopefully drafted for fair value.

*Player evaluations will be starting back up shortly. Some of us had to evaluate students for the past while.