The Winnipeg Jets have one of the deepest and most talented prospect pools in the NHL. With a young core already in place and the team returning to the postseason for the first time since it’s relocation, things are looking up in the ‘Peg.’ In the first of this two-part series, looking through the Jets’ top 10 prospects, we take a look at number ten through six.
In this portion of the Winnipeg Jets farm system, we see a couple of potential top 4-6 defensemen, along with a few possible third line forwards.
Check out the Winnipeg Jets top 5 prospects here.
10: Jack Glover
Jack Glover was a 3rd round pick, 69th overall, by the Jets in 2014. He is more of a project prospect, with great upside. Glover was a freshman this year with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Standing at 6 foot 3, Glover’s size and terrific skating make him an excellent defender. Although he may remain in the NCAA for another two seasons before turning pro, Glover seems destined to become an NHL defenceman in a few years.
9: Jan Kostalek
Jan Kostalek saw his stock rise tremendously this season with the Rimouski Oceanic, who went all the way to the Memorial Cup. He was a 4th round pick, 114th overall, in 2013. The two-way defender is highly regarded for his hockey IQ and terrific decision making. He’s a decent skater, but is great at making solid breakout passes. Kostalek had an amazing postseason for the Oceanic, posting eight goals and 21 points in 20 games. He has the potential to be a top 4 defenceman.
8: Brendan Lemieux
Brendan Lemieux was acquired by the Jets in the Evander Kane trade with the Buffalo Sabres. He was the 31st overall selection in 2014. Lemieux had a terrific season with the OHL’s Barrie Colts, improving to 41 goals and 60 points in 57 games. Known for his over-the-edge style of play, he racked up 290 penalty minutes in the past two years. Lemieux is a great skater with quick acceleration and agility. He uses his lower-body strength to hold off defenders well. If he continues to improve his shot, he has the potential to become a top 6 forward.
7: Andrew Copp
Andrew Copp could be Winnipeg’s best kept secret. The 6-foot-2, 210 pound center was a 4th round pick, 104th overall, by the Jets in 2013. Copp was a junior at the University of Michigan this year, posting 14 goals and 31 points in 37 games. He uses his physicality well in puck battles and could be an effective two-way power forward in the NHL quite soon. To reach his ultimate potential, Copp will need to improve his offensive instincts, but regardless, he should be a lock for the Winnipeg Jets future.
6: Joel Armia
Joel Armia, like Lemieux, was acquired from Buffalo this year. He was the 16th overall selection in 2011. At 6 foot 3, Armia uses his size to shield the puck well and his smooth hands to create scoring opportunities. His shot is slowing becoming NHL calibre, as he put up 12 goals and 33 points in 54 games in the AHL, split between Rochester and St. John’s. Armia will need to become a more reliable two-way player before he becomes a full time NHLer. He should blossom into a second or third line winger.
The Winnipeg Jets prospects ranked 10 through six are some very promising kids who could have bright futures in Winnipeg. It’s amazing to consider that the Jets have another five prospects even better than these. The best thing about Winnipeg’s prospect pool is the balance between positions, as you will see more of in their prospects ranked five through one. The variance of age is also a very helpful aspect, as the cupboard won’t be emptied at one time. Instead, the Jets will be able to retool, while still having some promising players coming up. As I’ve said many times before, the future is extremely bright for the Winnipeg Jets.
Check out the Winnipeg Jets prospects ranked 5 through 1 now!
Contributor for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Prospects. Scout with the Oakville Blades of the OJHL. For questions, concerns, or comments, contact me at email@example.com or on twitter @SlawsonTHW.