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August 14, 2013
Top 10 Prospects 2013
Winnipeg Jets

by Corey Pronman

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Full list of NHL Organizational Rankings

Winnipeg Jets Top 10 Prospects

1. Jacob Trouba, Defense
2. Mark Scheifele, Center
3. Josh Morrissey, Defense
4. Nicolas Petan, Center
5. Adam Lowry, Left Wing
6. Jimmy Lodge, Right Wing
7. Zach Redmond, Defense
8. Jan Kostalek, Defense
9. Connor Helleybuyck, Goaltender
10. Scott Kosmachuk, Right Wing

Organizational Ranking: 12th

System Overview

The Jets' system is as good and deep as it has been in several years, dating back to the days when they were in Atlanta. Trouba and Scheifele are high-end prospects, with the former having the potential to be a true cornerstone. This year's draft brought a lot of quality talent to this pipeline, not to mention a lot of savvy mid-to-late round picks the Jets have made over the past few seasons.

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1. Jacob Trouba, Defense
2011-12 Ranking: 2nd
Date of birth: 02/26/1994
Age: 19
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 195
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 37 GP, 12 G, 29 P (Univ. of Michigan, NCAA)
Acquired: First round, ninth overall in 2012 by Winnipeg

Year in Review: Trouba was a First Team All-American (NCAA West), was named the Best Defenseman at the World Juniors, played at the World Championships, and was invited to USA's Olympic camp.

The Good: You could write just one word in this section, "everything," and it would be pretty close to accurate. Trouba is an exceptional talent who defends very well while also providing offense. He has high-end skating ability, with great mobility, power from his legs, and speed. He also plays a very physical brand of hockey, laying out big hits and showing good competitiveness in battles. Trouba closes gaps well, makes a lot of stops, and can transition the puck out after creating a turnover. He has above-average offensive instincts as a puck mover to combine with a bomb from the point. Trouba's offensive game is an element that really started to flourish last season.

The Bad: Trouba does not have a major weakness that can be noted. His hands are average, and he can make the odd bad decision, such as going out of position for a big hit or making a bad play with the puck.

Projection: He could be an All-Star defenseman.

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2. Mark Scheifele, Center
2011-12 Ranking: 1st
Date of birth: 03/15/1993
Age: 20
Height: 6'3''
Weight: 187
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 45 GP, 39 G, 79 P (Barrie, OHL)
Acquired: First round, eighth overall in 2011 by Winnipeg

Year in Review: Scheifele was a top player in the OHL regular season and playoffs, and he was also also one of Canada's top players at the World Juniors.

The Good: Scheifele has high-end hockey sense, and he is a top-of-the-line passer who NHL sources praise for his ability to make plays. His good set of hands ensures that his ability to maintain puck possession is very good, and he creates a lot of scoring chances. He also has an above-average to plus shot. Scheifele is a decent defensive center, and he shows the ability to fill in a variety of roles. He has a good on-ice work ethic, and he will not shy away from laying the body on opponents.

The Bad: Scheifele's skating has improved, and while he is by no means a blazer, his speed has approached roughly pro average, helping his value. He needs to continue to get stronger, as well as work on the little details of his game. Improving these areas would allow him to log bigger minutes as a pro.

Projection: He could be a top line center.

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3. Josh Morrissey, Defense
2011-12 Ranking: N/A
Date of birth: 03/28/1995
Age: 18
Height: 6'0''
Weight: 186
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 70 GP, 15 G, 47 P (Prince Albert, WHL)
Acquired: First round, 13th overall in 2013 by Winnipeg

Year in Review: Morrissey had yet another high scoring season in the WHL. He was named the CHL's Scholastic Player of the Year, and he was the top scoring defenseman at the Under-18 Championship.

The Good: Morrissey is a dynamic, fun-to-watch offensive defenseman. He is a high-end skater, and arguably better. His stride is very easy, he has good footwork, and he can make every move, as his speed, first step, and pivots are all at a high level. Morrissey is a very good puck mover who makes accurate outlets, and he has the creativity to be a significant asset on the power play. His overall offensive hockey instincts are plus.

The Bad: Morrissey is a tad undersized for a defenseman, and he still needs to work on his defensive reads. These two things, at the moment, skew his value towards one end of the rink. He can also take some unnecessary offensive risks.

Projection: He could be a good second pairing defenseman who plays on a top power play.

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4. Nicolas Petan, Center
2011-12 Ranking: N/A
Date of birth: 03/28/1995
Age: 18
Height: 5'9''
Weight: 165
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 71 GP, 46 G, 120 P (Portland, WHL)
Acquired: Second round, 43th overall in 2013 by Winnipeg

Year in Review: Petan was one of the most dominant offensive players in the WHL, as he co-led the league in scoring and was named a First Team All Star.

The Good: Petan is a tremendously skilled forward with a ton of puck possession tools. His puck skills and hockey sense are both high end, and he has the ability to create scoring chances with consistency. Petan controls the puck very well, makes defenders miss, and executes a lot of difficult plays. His vision is very good, as he sees all of the options, and he hits his targets through difficult passing lanes. Petan works hard, plays at a high pace, and has a good first few steps.

The Bad: Petan is quite small, and his physical game is a significant question mark when projecting to the NHL level. He needs to gain bulk to do his best to overcome that issue.

Projection: He could be a very good second line forward.

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5. Adam Lowry, Left Wing
2011-12 Ranking: 13th
Date of birth: 03/29/1993
Age: 20
Height: 6'5''
Weight: 201
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 72 GP, 45 G, 88 P (Swift Current, WHL)
Acquired: Third round, 66th overall in 2011 by Winnipeg

Year in Review: Lowry had a fantastic 2012-13. He took significant strides forward in his development, and he was named the WHL Player of the Year.

The Good: Lowry is a good do-it-all type of player who can produce in both ends. Last year, he showed the ability to play center and wing effectively. He is a big forward who plays the body well, and he does not shy away from physical battles. Lowry takes his checks well on defense, and on the whole, he plays well in his own end. He displayed more offensive creativity with the puck, along with good goal scoring ability.

The Bad: Lowry's skating is his one major issue. He is a little rough with his stride, and he will not blow by defenders at the top level. His strength is decent, but he could continue to gain bulk.

Projection: He could be a second line forward.

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6. Jimmy Lodge, Right Wing
2011-12 Ranking: N/A
Date of birth: 03/05/1995
Age: 18
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 166
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 64 GP, 28 G, 67 P (Saginaw, OHL)
Acquired: Third round, 84th overall in 2013 by Winnipeg

Year in Review: Lodge took significant steps forward last season, and he was one of the top-scoring U18 players in the OHL.

The Good: Lodge is a highly skilled forward with a fair amount of upside. He is a highly coordinated puck handler who can make crafty plays. Lodge's overall offensive hockey sense is above average, as he knows what plays to make to generate offense. His passes are crisp, and while very good as an individual playmaker, he flashes the ability to be a good setup man.

The Bad: Lodge's overall game still needs to round out a fair amount. His physical game is a work in progress, as he is very slight, and he does not always attack the high percentage areas. He also needs to work on his defense.

Projection: He could be a top-six forward.

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7. Zach Redmond, Defense
2011-12 Ranking: 7th
Date of birth: 07/26/1988
Age: 25
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 205
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 38 GP, 8 G, 19 P (St. John's, AHL)
Acquired: Seventh round, 184th overall in 2008 by Winnipeg (then Atlanta)

Year in Review: Redmond was one of St. John's' top defenseman in both ends. He played in a couple of NHL games.

The Good: Redmond is an impressive skater with a solid to above-average top gear, on top of being very mobile in every direction. Redmond is an impressive thinker who gets praise from industry sources for his understanding of the game. He tends to always make good decisions, is an effective outlet passer, performs well in his own end, and shows decent instincts offensively.

The Bad: Redmond is not an overly skilled player, and he does not project as a notable points producer in the NHL. He also tailed off a bit halfway through the AHL season, showing some effects from adjusting to the pro schedule, as opposed to what he was used to in college.

Projection: He could be a fringe second/good third pairing defenseman.

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8. Jan Kostalek, Defense
2011-12 Ranking: N/A
Date of birth: 02/17/1995
Age: 18
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 181
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 48 GP, 5 G, 18 P (Rimouski, QMJHL)
Acquired: Fourth round, 114th overall in 2013 by Winnipeg

Year in Review: Kostalek was named to the QMJHL All-Rookie team, and he was a top player for the Czech Republic at the U-18 level.

The Good: Kostalek is a very smart defenseman who shows good awareness in every zone. He defends at a quality level, as he makes a lot of defensive stops with his stick. He displays good body positioning, as well as overall reads, and he brings a good element of physicality. He outlets the puck well, as he does not panic when pressured, and he makes safe decisions. Kostalek is a solid skater, with four-way agility and fine mobility.

The Bad: While he has some puck-moving skills, Kostalek is a below-average offensive player who will not put up points at the pro level. He also needs to continue to build strength.

Projection: He could be a second pairing defenseman.

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9. Connor Helleybuyck, Goaltender
2011-12 Ranking: N/A
Date of birth: 05/19/1993
Age: 20
Height: 6'4''
Weight: 201
Catches: Left
Statistics: 24 GP, .952 SV% (UMass-Lowell, NCAA)
Acquired: Fifth round, 130th overall in 2012 by Winnipeg

Year in Review: Helleybuyck had a fantastic freshman season, where he was named the top goaltender in his conference, and he was the MVP of the Hockey East tournament. He was a key reason for UMass-Lowell advancing to the NCAA tournament.

The Good: Helleybuyck is a huge goaltender who uses his size well. He knows how to adjust his angles in the net to cover up a lot of shooting space. He is a smart goaltender, always in the right spot to square up pucks, and he never seems to have to make sudden movements in the net. He also covers up his rebounds well. Helleybuyck has the combination of athletic and mental tools to win games almost by himself.

The Bad: Helleybuyck will not "wow" anyone with an acrobatic or flashy save. He has not played enough games to know what he really is, which is not necessarily a fault, but rather, a reason for the uncertainty in projecting him.

Projection: He could be a starting goaltender.

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10. Scott Kosmachuk, Right Wing
2011-12 Ranking: 11th
Date of birth: 01/24/1994
Age: 19
Height: 5'11''
Weight: 187
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 68 GP, 35 G, 65 P (Guelph, OHL)
Acquired: Third round, 70th overall in 2012 by Winnipeg

Year in Review: Kosmachuk had a solid season. He led Guelph in scoring and progressed more in the offensive areas of the game.

The Good: Kosmachuk skates at an above-average level and scouts characterize his game as one with speed and energy. He also has an offensive touch, as he makes good reads with the puck, and he displayed better offensive hockey sense last season. Kosmachuk is a hard-working two-way player who mucks it up; he can lay some good hits despite being a little undersized. He has a good shot as well.

The Bad: Kosmachuk's size is an issue, albeit a minor one. He does need to continue to get stronger, however. His pure offensive upside is also a question mark.

Projection: He could be a top-nine forward.

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The Next Five

11. Ivan Telegin, Left Wing: Telegin went through some adjustments in his rookie AHL season, but the tools are there. He is big, skates well, and has skill.

12. Brenden Kichton, Defense: Kichton was named the WHL's top defenseman in his overage season. He moves the puck really well, but his defense still needs work.

13. Patrice Cormier, Center: He is injured a lot, but when healthy, Cormier is a tough, versatile forward with bottom-six upside.

14. Julian Melchiori, Defense: Melchiori does not have a ton of upside, but he is a very mobile defenseman with enough talent to project onto a third pairing.

15. Ryan Olsen, Center: Olsen is a plus skater with good vision and some nice physical value as well.

The Sleeper: Marcus Karlstrom, Defense

Karlstrom is a skilled defender who can move the puck, and he is a solid skater to boot. He is a long way away, but he has a decent ceiling.

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Winnipeg Jets Organizational Top 10

Players 22 or under as of 09/15/2013 or still considered a prospect as defined here.

1. Evander Kane, Left Wing
2. Jacob Trouba, Defense
3. Mark Scheifele, Center
4. Josh Morrissey, Defense
5. Nicolas Petan, Center
6. Adam Lowry, Left Wing
7. Jimmy Lodge, Right Wing
8. Zach Redmond, Defense
9. Jan Kostalek, Defense
10. Connor Helleybuyck, Goaltender

Kane is a top line forward in the NHL, arguably the best that Winnipeg has. While he has the potential to be a star, he has not shown enough yet to confidently say he will be one. However, his offensive tools certainly make that outcome possible.

Corey Pronman is an author of Hockey Prospectus. You can contact Corey by clicking here or click here to see Corey's other articles.

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Top 10 Prospects 2013 (08/07)
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Top 10 Prospects 2013 (08/07)
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Top 10 Prospects 2013 (08/14)
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Top 10 Prospects 2013 (08/14)

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