Going into the third round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the Winnipeg Jets drafted two forwards with their first two picks.
In the first round, Winnipeg selected American-born centerman, Chaz Lucius with the eighteenth overall selection and in the second round, the Jets decided to draft winger, Nikita Chibrikov.
With their third-round selection (82nd overall pick) the Jets front office decided to go a different route and draft a defensive prospect.
The Winnipeg Jets picked Dmitry Kuzmin in the third-round
The Belarusian-born eighteen-year-old defenseman played the entire 2021-2022 season in Belarus for Dinamo-Molodechno.
Kuzmin got a full season of professional hockey under his belt as he appeared in 46 games and had three goals, nine assists, and finished with a minus-two plus/minus.
The left-handed shooting blueliner played well in the postseason scoring three goals, had one assist, and a plus-one plus/minus in six games.
Kuzmin also got some great experience at the under-18 World Championship competing for Belarus and finished the tournament with one goal and four assists in five games. His one tournament goal was absolutely incredible as he scored in a lacrosse style fashion. Kuzmin’s jaw-dropping goal can be seen in the tweet below:
Kuzmin is known as a great skater with tremendous skill with the puck. He has the potential to be a terrific offensive defenseman who can make something out of nothing in the offensive zone with his skating and vision.
It is interesting to note that Kuzmin signed an agreement in the Ontario Hockey League with the Flint Firebirds in September 2020 to play for them in 2020-2021 but since the OHL season was canceled, Kuzmin did not make the jump to Canada this past season. It will be interesting to see if Kuzmin competes in the OHL for Flint in the 2021-2022 season and how his game transitions in the prestigious junior league.
As of right now, the Winnipeg Jets do not have a fourth-round pick as it was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights as part of the deal that brought Cody Eakin to Winnipeg. The Jets’ next pick is scheduled for the eighteenth pick of the fifth round which will be pick number 146 overall.
Stay tuned to our site for more Jets draft coverage!
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*All Stats Provided by Elite Prospects*