I wouldn’t say I am elated with the way the Jets first draft went, especially since I think a number of the picks were reaches. This would be fine in and of itself, but Winnipeg traded up to grab an extra third rounder, when he probably would have been there in the fourth. A pick by pick analysis:
7th overall – Mark Scheifele
67th overall – Adam Lowry
78th overall – Brennan Serville
119th overall – Zachary Yuen, D, Tri-City (WHL)
The Jets traded up to grab Yuen, the second defenseman in a row. Defense isn’t really a priority for Winnipeg (seriously, some centers please), but Yuen had a good year with Tri-City. He won’t provide any offense but he has played solid defensively and brings a pretty physical game. He’s a different type of defenseman than what we have on the roster, so I think he’ll be a good fit.
149th overall – Austen Brassard, RW, Belleville (OHL)
We need right wings in the system, so Brassard might have a better shot at an NHL future with Winnipeg than some other team. He had 19 goals and 34 points in the OHL this year. I don’t know a ton about him, so watch his fights instead.
157th overall – Jason Kasdorf, G, Portage (MJHL)
Perfect time to pick a goalie, and Kasdorf is a good one. He was the highest rated goaltender in Canadian junior A, and had a save percentage north of .910 the past two years. He’s from Winnipeg, which if that was the only reason he was picked would be bad, but since he appears to be pretty good it is just a bonus. He will attend RPI next season where hopefully he will replicate Allen York’s great career.
187th overall – Aaron Harstad, D, Green Bay (USHL)
Harstad is a pretty good skater and has a good shot from the blueline. He went undrafted in the 2010 draft, so I don’t think we’re getting a future superstar, but he is off to Colorado College where hopefully he will develop at least into a nice trade chip, given our surplus of puck moving defensemen.
Overall I would say I am a mix between happy and unhappy. I’m happy we got to have a draft for one, and I liked getting Kasdorf late and I think Serville and Yuen will be good players. I’m also excited about Scheifele. I would have preferred Couturier, but I think Scheifele has a higher floor than Couturier and coming out of this draft with a bust at 7 overall would have been very bad. Unfortunately, while I prefer drafting the best player available rather than for need, we took only 1 right wing and only 1 center, and those remain holes in the organization.