The Winnipeg Jets have selected Finnish sniper Patrik Laine of Tappara Tampere with the third pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Laine was a no-brainer with the second overall pick. He’s a confident player who has been explosive all year from his time with Tappara in the Finnish Liiga to the 2016 World Championship, where he was named MVP of the tournament despite Finland taking a silver medal.
About Patrik Laine
Laine has been outstanding this season. The 6-foot-4 winger was, along with fellow 2016 eligible Finn Jesse Puljujarvi, an absolute revelation during the 2016 World Junior Championship, where both players set records as they led the Finnish national team to a gold medal in Helsinki. There, Laine scored seven goals and 13 points in seven games.
He was also electric in the Finnish Liiga, where he helped Tappara to a championship. He was also named MVP of the postseason after scoring 10 goals and 15 points in 18 games. His record-breaking season didn’t stop at the end of the season. Playing for the Finns at the World Championship in Moscow and St. Petersburg he had seven goals and 12 points in 10 games.
He’s fast, smart and has a fantastic release. There’s nothing you don’t like about Laine, including his immense confidence and willingness to say what is on his mind.
On the Winnipeg Jets Prospect Pool
Laine doesn’t address a dire need for the Jets, but there isn’t a team in the league that would not benefit from putting Laine in the lineup. This is going to be great for the Jets, who have some incredible talent in their youth movement, like Nikolaj Ehlers, Mark Scheifele, Nic Petan and Kyle Connor.
Laine is going to be a franchise player. The one-two punch of Ehlers and Laine could terrorize the Central Division for many years to come, to say nothing of adding in Kyle Connor. The Jets could start to round the corner with a potentially elite winger like Laine playing on Scheifele’s wing.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.