It’s that time of year again; the Stanley Cup Playoffs are coming to a close and all the teams begin to finalize what their top needs are for the upcoming 2013 draft.
The Winnipeg Jets, with 13th overall pick, will once again, address their own needs and finally hope to break that barrier to get into the playoffs next spring.
Overall the Jets had a pretty average season. Even with a full 82-game season the team was likely on the outside looking in for the 2013 playoffs. However, they did have a few shining moments and their Captain Andrew Ladd really came into his own, leading the team with 46 points.
A captain can’t do it all though and that is where the draft comes in. The Jets need a few pieces to add to their puzzle before Ladd and his team try and snag 1 of 8 spots next season, and lets not forgot their heading to the west with the realignment being put to action.
Simply put: This team needs more scoring. Only two players broke the 40 point barrier this season, Andrew Ladd and Blake Wheeler, the next closest was Evander Kane with 33.
To get that help Jets have to get a offensive minded player, probably a winger. Look for the Jets to take Max Domi, LW for the London Knights. Domi comes into the draft after having an impressive 87 point season along with an additional 35 points throughout the playoffs and memorial cup.
Domi is one of the faster prospects for 2013 and could fit well into the Jets’ system. He knows how to handle the puck well and is an overall competitor. He may not be ready out of the gate to compete in the NHL but you never know with a guy of his work ethic.
A big turn off to this good prospect is his height. Domi stands at 5’10” which could hold him back from having those 87 point seasons in the big leagues. But with Andrew Ladd, Evander Kane and Blaker Wheeler, Domi is going to need to be a bigger support player than anything for this Jets team.
In the June mock draft here at The Hockey Writers, they have the Jets taking Val-d’Or Foreurs winger, Anthony Mantha.Mantha is the exact opposite of Domi in terms of size.
Mantha is scaled at 6’4″, 190 pounds and with that he scores, handily.
Having scored 89 points this season in the OMJHL Mantha has a promising future in the NHL; if he does the work.
Mantha has the potential to be one of those guys you love and hate to have on your team. Mantha can be seen flying everywhere around the ice one night and the next he’s no where to be found. And for the Jets to really consider him, he needs to be known.
And like Domi he’ll be an excellent support player for Ladd, Kane and Wheeler.
As much as the Jets need to get the puck in the back of the net, they could also use some help at the blue line to support Ondrej Pavelec.
But with a bright star in Jacob Trouba coming up in their system, they might not look to deeply into the draft for one unless someone NHL ready is right there for the taking, free agency might be where they go for this need.
But either way, we’ll take a look at the potential prospects.
If he drops to 13, a consideration for the Jets could be Brandon Wheat Kings, Ryan Pulock.
At 6’1″, Pulock has a rocket shot that could take some pressure off the offense setting up everything for the Jets.While also providing an ability to find the puck and stay with it on the other end of the ice. Pulock has great leadership skills and can really anchor a team when put to the task.
In reality though, the Jets will likely look to the offense before defense next week in New Jersey.
Billy Kornfeld is a senior at Penn State, obtaining a major in broadcast journalism. He is a producer at the student run radio station, ComRadio. He produced the Penn State Women’s Ice Hockey team, while also doing play-by-play and beat writing for both the men’s and women’s team. In the spring he is producing both the Men and Women’s lacrosse teams at Penn State. He is on twitter @b_kornfeld.