The Jets First-Round Selection
Now that the regular season has ended and the Jets finished outside of the playoffs, it gives fans the (hopefully) unique experience of looking forward to next year and following junior-aged prospects and preparing mock drafts. Being a long time Oilers fan, I have several years worth of experience in getting mentally prepared for the draft.
With that in mind, I have decided to take a look at six possible prospects who the Jets could call to the podium at the end of June in Pittsburgh. Previous 9th overall picks are sort of a mixed-bag of talent, potential and busts. Names such as Dougie Hamilton, Mikael Granlund, Jared Cowan, Josh Bailey, Logan Couture and James Sheppard should give Jets’ fans a healthy dose of optimism and just a smidge of fear, but odds are that the Jets will at very least get a contributing roster player.
Culling the names from Craig Button’s, Bob McKenzie’s list and also Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus, we come up with the following names that may or may not set the Jets’ cheering section (me) to cheering:
- Griffin Reinhart
- Jacob Trouba
- Filip Forsberg
- Morgan Rielly
- Radek Faksa
- Matthew Dumba
In speaking with some reputable scouts (NHL- LA, Florida, New York Rangers, Tampa) as well as some collegiate coaches, I feel that, coupled with my own viewing on television, I have a relatively good idea of who’s who. With that in mind, here are a few notes on each player:
Griffin Reinhart (D, Edmonton Oil Kings, WHL, 6’4, 206)- A big-bodied defender who uses his size and positional awareness to be a shutdown-type guy, Reinhart has some offensive upside and good hockey bloodlines.
Jacob Trouba (D, USNTDP, USHL, 6’2, 196)- A strong skater with excellent physical strength, Trouba can use his size and skill to take command of a game. Trouba is also used in all situations and can provide help at both ends of the rink.
Filip Forsberg (LW, Leksands, Sweden, 6’2, 181)- Forsberg is considered to be a complete package winger. Able to score, play sound defense while being physical at both ends, he could go top 3 or fall to 10. He has a quick release and can back defenders off with his size and speed.
Morgan Rielly (D, Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL, 6’0, 190)- One of the smartest players available, Reilly uses his high hockey IQ to make plays and to get himself out of trouble. Good on-ice vision and a desire to succeed and win.
Radek Faksa (C, Kitchener Rangers, OHL, 6’3, 206)- The prototypical big-bodied centre, Faksa is able to play a two-way game but his real strength is his ability to create offense in a variety of ways. He is a strong enough skater to create off the rush and has the strength to make things happen off the cycle.
Matthew Dumba (D, Red Deer Rebels, WHL, 5’11, 183)- A possible future captain with some offensive ability, Dumba plays a gambling style of game at both ends of the rink. A fearsome open-ice hitter, there are some concerns that his style of play may put unnecessary strain on his smaller frame. Has a heavy shot and can be used in all situations.
In all likelihood, Trouba and Forsberg will be gone before the Jets walk to the podium, leaving them with a choice of defenders or Radek Faksa. Though they could use either type of player, it will come down (hopefully) to whom they consider to be the better player.
If I were a betting man, and the stack of Sport Select slips in my car says I am, I would wager that the Jets call Matthew Dumba’s name. He has top-5 talent but had bit of rough year, making neither the World Junior Team nor the WHL playoffs, and his stock may have slipped just a little. Should the Jets have the chance, I doubt they pass him up.
His two-way ability and open-ice hitting make him not only a valuable hockey player, but also a guy that will quickly endear himself to the MTS Centre faithful.
Be sure to follow on Twitter @ickylek for live updates from the NHL Draft in Pittsburgh.