2020-21 Team: USNTDP Juniors (#16)
Date of Birth: August 16, 2003
Place of Birth: Rockville Centre, NY, USA
Ht: 5-foot-7 Wt: 141 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 194th (amongst NA skaters)
- DobberProspects: 77th
- Smaht Scouting: 112th
- FCHockey: 300th
- Puck Authority: 41st
- THW – Peter Baracchini: 128th
- THW – Matthew Zator: 78th
- THW – Andrew Forbes: 72nd
In a world that has Cole Caufield, Alex DeBrincat, and Tyler Johnson succeeding in the NHL at 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-8, we really shouldn’t be discounting smaller forwards anymore. I’m not saying Jeremy Wilmer will become as prolific as those three, but with his skill and work ethic, I wouldn’t put it past him either. Ranked as high as 41st by Puck Authority and as low as 300th by FCHockey, the opinion on his potential in the NHL is wide-ranging, to say the least.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Wilmer plays the game with a lot of speed and shiftiness. His lack of size works against him though, as he’s easy to knock off the puck sometimes. If he does indeed make it to the NHL, he will have to learn how to avoid contact like Patrick Kane or gain enough strength in his legs and core to negate that disadvantage like Martin St. Louis.
Despite being a smaller player, Wilmer is not a liability defensively. He uses his stick and body position a lot of the time to break up plays and never lets his size be a weakness in the defensive zone. As Tony Ferrari said on his podcast, “he may be a smaller player, but he doesn’t play like a smaller player.”
Another strength of Wilmer’s game is his vision and anticipation. Known more for his playmaking than his scoring, he just seems to know where his linemates are on the ice at all times. His creativity and confidence in the offensive zone also allow him to make plays quickly and efficiently. On top of that, he’s also an accurate shooter when he does decide to shoot. Basically, he’s a package of unpredictability when he goes on the attack.
Committed to Boston University next season, we will see how Wilmer’s style translates to tougher competition. His skating, battle level, and strong 200-foot game might just get him over the hump when it comes to his lack of size. Who knows? We might just have the next DeBrincat or Johnny Gaudreau on our hands in a few seasons.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Jeremy Wilmer – NHL Draft Projection
Considering how polarizing Wilmer has turned out to be over the last year, he could be drafted as high as the second round to as low as being left out of the festivities altogether. I am betting on somewhere in between, as he’s got an intriguing package of skills that should warrant at least a flyer in the fifth or sixth rounds. Interestingly enough, Lines.com ranked him as going 25th overall in their third mock draft of 2021, so someone thought he was worth a first-round pick at some point. It should be interesting to see where he falls on draft day.
“Incredibly shifty and seemingly possible to contain, Wilmer is a crafty yet decisive skater who uses his edges and creativity to his advantage with each passing shift. A threat in the offensive zone owing to his stellar skating, Wilmer can keep his defenders on their toes given his unpredictability and will make his opposition pay dearly if afforded too much time and space to operate.” – Prospect Pipeline before the 2019 OHL Draft
“Jeremy Wilmer is the modern day, 200ft winger who is a bit undersized. He certainly plays way above his size, and is not afraid to get physical. Watching a lot of his game tape from the past two seasons, he seems to have a little bit of Martin St. Louis in his game, being that scrappy, talented forward who can set up teammates with elite skill and creativity.” – Paul Zuk, Smaht Scouting
“He might be the smallest player on the team, but he oozes so many great qualities. An elite passer, pinpoint shooter, electric skater, and wicked hands.” – TPEHockey, The Prospect Network
- Soft hands
- Work ethic
- Two-way game
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Needs to get stronger
If all goes well and Wilmer can learn to adjust his game to bigger and tougher competition, he could surprise everyone and join the Caufield, Gaudreau, Johnson, and DeBrincat club of smaller forwards that have made the successful transition to the NHL. A ceiling of a top-six forward that can score 20 goals might not be totally out of the question.
Risk – 4/5, Reward – 5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 7/10, Defence – 6/10
Wilmer suited up for Team USA at the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and won a silver medal.
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, editor, part-time journalist, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.