It was an extremely interesting two days for the Winnipeg Jets at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft which was held virtually for the second straight summer.
Due to the pandemic, many teams did not have the capabilities to scout talent as they have done in years prior and, not to mention, some draft-eligible players did not have many opportunities to showcase their skills due to many junior leagues getting canceled. This made this edition of the draft extremely unique.
Many people predicted that the Jets would make a trade considering that the Jets only had four selection spots in the seven-round event. But during the two-day event, Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Jets front office did not make any trades.
The Winnipeg Jets stuck with what they had and selected three forwards and one defenseman
After watching the draft unfold and seeing who the Jets ultimately decided to select, there are two talking points to note:
2. Winnipeg Drafts for Offense
Out of the four picks, the Jets decided to use three of these to select a forward including their first-round pick Chaz Lucius. That could be of interest to Jets supporters considering their need to bolster their defense this offseason.
As we know it takes time for draft picks to develop into NHL-caliber players and the Jets already have some big-name defensive prospects in their system including Ville Heinola, Dylan Samberg, and Sami Niku. While also Logan Stanley stepped up on defense during the last season and has the ability to be a shutdown defenseman for many years to come.
Maybe that is why the Jets decided to draft more offensively this year. Winnipeg does not have the strongest pool of forward prospects and these selections may give the Jets coaching staff more options in years to come as they assemble their depth chart.
1. International Prospects
Winnipeg only selected one North American prospect and that was Lucius who played for the United States National Development Program last season.
With their three subsequent picks, the Jets selected three players who played overseas. Chibrikov and Rashevsky played in Russia while Kuzmin applied his trade in Belarus.
Across all competitions, these three players played in more than 50 games each during the 2020-2021 season which is substantially more than most North American prospects appeared in. Lucius only had 25 games played throughout last season.
Over the past couple of years, Winnipeg had been a team that drafted their prospects more from North America and countries like Sweden and Finland. Their last draft pick from Russia was Mikhail Berdin in the sixth round of the 2016 draft.
The Jets front office decided to go in a different direction this summer at the draft and make their selections from a different talent pool. It will be interesting to see if these players develop into NHL players.
You can read more about the Jets picks from the second day of the draft by clicking on the hyperlinks below:
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Now that the draft has concluded, the next key date this offseason is on July 28. On Wednesday, free agency begins and there are many high-profile players that will be free agents. Check back to our site for more Winnipeg Jets offseason news!
Winnipeg Jets Fans: Are you happy with who the Winnipeg Jets drafted at this year’s draft? Leave your comments below!