Twenty Top Prospects #18


Winnipeg, Manitoba – As we continue our look at the future of the Winnipeg Jets we are finding ourselves at the #18 spot a spot that took a couple days to think about as we were stuck on Chase De Leo and Ryan Olsen, ultimately we settled on Chase De Leo in the 18th spot and we think we have picked correctly.

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Chase De Leo is on the smaller side for an NHL player but can not be counted out on size alone at only 5’10 and 175 lbs, De Leo is the best skater on the Jets prospect list and that alone sets him apart from the rest of the group, De Leo is said to be a better skater then some current NHL players.

De Leo is a 4th round draft pick of the Winnipeg Jets 99th overall, a lot of scouts have counted him out because of the late pick in the draft but as we have learned form so many years of watching Ken Holland in Detroit a “great farm system and smart development of a player in any round can create a quality NHL caliber player no matter what round they were selected”, Henrick Zetterberg is a testament to that statement.

“A great farm system and smart development of a player in any round can create a quality NHL caliber player no matter what round they were selected

The Portland Winterhawks have done a great job as of late with the development of top talent players and De Leo is no different De Leo spent four years in the Portland system and every year increasing his points total in both the regular season and the playoffs including a great memorial cup tournament.

De Leo has made the jump to the AHL and is doing well with the Manitoba Moose he has switched leagues and is one of a few players who has made that jump and not seen a decrease in numbers in fact De Leo will beat his rookie numbers in Portland this year. De Leo is under the watchful eye of Keith McCambridge in Manitoba and Keith is an expert at player development.

De Leo is a very fast skater and he uses that speed effectively on defense and offense De Leo has of the fastest transition games in the AHL, he is not Connor McDavid but the kids is fast.

De Leo is a very smart hockey player with great hockey sense and is very rarely found in a vulnerable position. De Leo can see the ice well and read the plays better then some of the veteran players in the Moose organization. De Leo didn’t have the opportunity to add bulk while in junior with Portland as a lot of players in the junior ranks don’t have that chance with the long bus rides, but with a state of the art MTS Iceplex it will be no problem putting on some muscle weight to get him closer to NHL numbers.

De Leo will see a more time in the American Hockey League next season if De Leo is able to get into a great off season training program he could get some call ups next year depending on NHL injuries and what happens to the Winnipeg Jets roster in the off season more then likely will get more call ups in season three with the Jets and could push for a fourth line possibly number pairing on the Jets blue line by season four.

All and all Chase De Leo is a quality hockey player he may never be a huge star in the NHL ranks but he could still have a long enjoyable career in the NHL or through call ups.