2022-23 Team: Vancouver Giants – WHL
Date of Birth: Dec 02, 2004
Place of Birth: Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
Height: 6-foot-3, Weight: 198 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: First-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters): 38th
- Elite Prospects: *Notable Prospect
- TSN (Bob McKenzie): 70th
- The Hockey Writers (Baracchini): 92nd
- FCHockey: 90th
Throughout his hockey career, Jaden Lipinski has played the role of underdog. As a resident of Arizona, he grew up in a non-traditional market that is still developing its hockey culture, and he went undrafted in his Western Hockey League (WHL) Draft year. Despite this, he kept playing hockey and developed his game until he caught the attention of the Vancouver Giants, who added him to their roster.
In his first season with the Giants, Lipinski played well but still clearly had room to grow into his game and his 6-foot-3, nearly 200-pound frame. However, the 2022-23 season was his coming out party, where he posted 19 goals and 51 points in 66 games played.
However, Lipinski’s contributions on the ice were more than just points. He plays a solid game at both ends of the ice, and he is able to play on both the powerplay and the penalty kill. This means he could develop into a versatile player for the team that selects him, and while he may not have the highest ceiling, there’s value in a big-bodied bottom-six forward who can play a responsible two-way game.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Jaden Lipinski – NHL Draft Projection
Based purely on his skillset and potential, I would expect Lipinski to hear his name called at the 2023 NHL Draft somewhere in the late-third round to the early fourth round, roughly between picks 85-95.
However, it should also come as no surprise if Lipinkski is taken sooner than expected. He has the size and toolkit that general managers love, and he strikes me as a player that has a fixable flaw (his skating is good enough but would need to improve) that a team may look at without a lot of concern.
Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide
So, he could be a player that is expected to go in the late third but he might rise as high as the late-second round should a team fall in love with his intangibles and believe that they know how to get the most out of him.
Lipinski is playing some of, if not the best hockey of his WHL career recently, and even coach Michael Dyck agrees saying, “his confidence continues to build.” He is an easy player to root for, as it is clear he never takes a shift off and is willing to do what it takes to win. From his work on special teams to even-strength play, he has the potential to one day be an everyday NHLer.Adam Kierszenblat – area51sportsnet.com
“He’s a hound dog on a bone with the puck. His ability to protect the puck along the wall is excellent…His ability to get the puck back along the wall is excellent as well.”Barclay Parneta – Vancouver Giants General Manager
- NHL caliber frame
- Great hands with a strong scoring touch
- Has two-way potential
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- His skating needs to improve if he will take that next step into professional hockey.
When you look at Lipinski, you see a lot of tools that most NHL players possess. Now, one good season in the WHL doesn’t make you a nightly starter, but it shows that he has the potential to grow and develop his game. This means he will likely need a lot of time in the minor leagues before he will be ready for the big show, but in four or five years he could find his way to the ice in a bottom-six role killing penalties and playing a physical game.
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Now, there is a chance that he could be the steal of the draft if a team is able to develop his skating even further. He is a player that could excel if his skating matched the rest of his toolkit, so he very well could start in a small role but eventually develop into a middle-six player who takes on ice time on both the powerplay and the penalty kill.
Risk – 3/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 6/10, Defense – 6/10