Now that the combine is here for the upcoming 2022 draft, the 2021 draft feels long in the past, even though it was only eleven months ago.
At the 2021 draft, which was held virtually instead of at an NHL arena due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Winnipeg Jets only had four picks in the seven rounds.
The Jets then went on to pick Chaz Lucius in the first round, Nikita Chibrikov in the second round, Dimitri Kuzmin in the third round, and finally Dmitry Rashevsky in the fifth round.
Here is how the four players that the Winnipeg Jets drafted at the 2021 NHL Entry Draft performed during the 2021-2022 season
No player from this draft class has yet to appear in an NHL game, but two have signed contracts with Winnipeg. Regardless, the Jets 2021 draft class players had good seasons with their respective teams.
This article will give a quick recap of how each player that Winnipeg drafted in 2021 performed during this past season with the highest drafted player first.
Chaz Lucius (18th Overall)
The Jets’ lone draft pick from North America, from this class, began his freshman season for the University of Minnesota after spending time with the United States Development Program.
The nineteen-year-old who is known to be a pure goalscorer had nine goals, ten assists, a plus-five plus/minus, and 23 penalty minutes in 24 games.
Unfortunately in February, Lucius suffered a lower-body injury and remained sidelined as the Golden Gophers made a Frozen Four appearance.
Lucius was also named to the United Stated under-twenty team for the World Junior Championship and appeared in one game before the prestigious tournament was canceled.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Lucius put pen to paper on his first professional contract as he signed an entry-level deal with the Jets.
Nikita Chibrikov (50th Overall)
Chibrikov had an interesting season individually this past year as he appeared for three different teams in SKA St. Petersburg’s organization.
The nineteen-year-old played four games in the KHL, but did not record a point and had a minus-three plus/minus.
Chibrikov then went on to spend most of the season with SKA-Neva St. Petersburg, who play in the VHL. The VHL is the second-highest professional league in the Russian hockey pyramid.
In the regular season with SKA-Neva, Chibrikov averaged more than a point per game as he had 15 goals, 16 assists, and a plus-17 rating in 28 regular season games.
Chibrikov then had four goals and ten assists in the postseason as SKA-Neva fell short in the league semifinals.
Chibrikov also played a short stint in the MHL for SKA-1946 St. Petersburg. The MHL is the top junior league in Russia.
In four regular season games in the MHL, Chibrikov had four goals, two assists, and a plus-7 rating. The playoffs went extremely well for Chibrikov and SKA-1946 as they won the championship and Chibrikov had three goals and five assists in eight playoff contests.
Dmitri Kuzmin (82nd Overall)
Last August, before this past season even began, the Jets inked Kuzmin to an entry-level contract.
Since Kuzmin did not appear in any games for the Jets and played a full season in the OHL with the Flint Firebirds, his contract, in essence, slid for a season. Therefore, the three-year contract essentially “slides” to begin at the beginning of this upcoming season and will expire after three seasons.
Kuzmin had a terrific season as he made the jump from Europe to North American play. In 57 regular season games, Kuzmin had 18 goals, 26 assists, and a plus-13 plus/minus.
Kuzmin’s 44 points during the season ranked him sixteenth among all OHL defensemen in points.
The Firebirds did make a run in the playoffs but ultimately fell in game seven of the Conference Finals. Kuzmin had 12 assists in 19 postseason games.
Dmitry Rashevsky (146th Overall)
The Jets’ fifth-round draft choice, Rashevsky, impressed many as appeared in his first full season in the KHL for Dynamo Moskva.
The twenty-one-year-old had 19 goals, 16 assists, and a plus-14 plus/minus in 48 regular season contests. Rashevsky ranked among the top twenty-three goal scorers in the KHL.
Rashevsky then had two goals and one assist in 11 playoff games as Dynamo bowed out in the second round of the playoffs.
After being eliminated from the playoffs, Rashevsky then appeared for Dynamo St. Petersburg in the VHL playoffs.
Unfortunately, Rashevesky and Dynamo St. Petersburg lost in the Finals to Rubin Tyumen four games to one. En route to the Finals, Rashevsky had four goals and six assists in 11 games.
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Winnipeg Jets Fans: Which player from this Winnipeg Jets draft year impressed you the most during this past season? Leave your comments below!