Young Jets Prospects Start the Season Right

It is still only early in the 2014 – 2015 season, but several young Winnipeg Jets prospects are off to great starts with their respective clubs.

Here are 10 young prospects who have fans excited.

American Hockey League (AHL)

Scott Kosmachuk made his professional debut on October 10th and has since scored his first two professional goals through seven games with the St. John’s IceCaps. He was recently promoted to the top line alongside Eric O’Dell and JC Lipon this week after his stellar play.

Making his professional hockey debut on October 10th as well was goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. Hellebuyck is battling with veteran goalie Peter Budaj (0-1-2, 2.44 GAA, .921 sv%) for the number one job in St. John’s on the IceCaps. Budaj has played extremely well but has not had the offensive support up front to garner his first win as an IceCap.

Portland's Chase De Leo could be a steal in the 2014 NHL Draft (WHL photo)
Portland Winterhawks F Chase De Leo (WHL photo)

Ontario Hockey League (OHL)

Pennsylvania native Jimmy Lodge started off the season slow with the Saginaw has picked up the scoring pace in his last few games. Pennsylvania native Jimmy Lodge, collected just two points in his first five games this season, but has since registered six points in his last four games.

Québec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL)

19 year-old defenceman Jan Kostalek is off to a solid start in his third year with the Rimouski Océanic. The Czech Republic native finished last season with 27 points and was +10 in 55 games, and has 3 goals, 4 assists and is a +8 through 12 games already this season.

Nikolaj Ehlers’ offensive threat has carried over from last season. The 5’11, 176-pound Aalborg, Denmark native collected 104 points last season, and has a point-per-game average through five games this season. As the speedy Dane was returned to junior on October 5th, he will not contend for the Jean-Béliveau Trophy as the leagues top scorer.

Western Hockey League (WHL)

Axel Blomquist signed a three-year, two-way, entry level contract on October 1st of last year, and has shown to scouts why he should have been drafted. The 19 year-old Swede was traded from the Lethbridge Hurricanes to the Victoria Royals last season and finished with 43 points in 49 games with the Royals, on top of 13 points in 19 games with Hurricanes.

2014 NHL draft pick (99th overall) Chase De Leo was named assistant captain of the Portland Winterhawks at the start of this season and has not let his coaching staff down in delivering. De Leo currently sits 11th in league scoring with 16 points though 12 games. His Portland Winterhawks, however, are in 19th place out of 22 teams.

A teammmate of De Leo, Nic Petan was brutally hit in the head on October 11th vs. the Seattle Thunderbirds by Thunderbird player Evan Wardley. Wardley was suspended 7 games. Petan missed the rest of the game, but was back in action for Portland’s next game on October 17th, where he registered three assists.

After playing 8 regular season games and 20 Calder Cup playoff games with the St. John’s IceCaps last season, defenceman Josh Morrissey returned to the Prince Albert Raiders for the 2014-2015 season for his second year as team captain. Morrissey continues to show why he is captain, leader, and future NHL defenceman.

Goaltender Eric Comrie is in his fourth season with the Tri-City Americans and is hoping to improve upon a 26-24-4-5 record from last season. The Edmonton-native has seen his GAA and save percentage improve over the past three seasons – he finished with the second highest save percentage last season in the WHL. However, regardless of Comrie’s great skills, the Tri-City Americans were one of worst teams in the WHL for being outshot and barely made the playoffs with a 29-33-2-6 record.

Statistics as of Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Player Team Pos GP G A PTS PIM +/-
Jan Kostalek Rimouski Océanic D 12 3 4 7 2 8
Axel Blomquist Victoria Royals RW 7 4 2 6 4 2
Chase De Leo Portland Winterhawks C 12 8 8 16 4 2
Josh Morrissey Prince Albert Raiders D 6 2 3 5 10 1
Scott Kosmachuk St. John’s IceCaps RW 7 2 0 2 10 -1
Nikolaj Ehlers Halifax Mooseheads LW 5 3 2 5 16 -3
Nicolas Petan Portland Winterhawks C 7 1 9 10 0 1
Jimmy Lodge Saginaw Spirit C 9 5 3 8 4 -2
Player Team GP W L OTL SOL GAA SV%
Eric Comrie Tri-City Americans 10 6 4 0 0 2.58 .919
Connor Hellebuyck St. John’s IceCaps 3 2 0 1 0 3.12 .905