The Jets hold the 13th overall pick in a very deep draft, but there are plenty of players to choose from. This year’s draft is the deepest in a long time and there are many options for the Jets at 13. Usually, the 13th overall pick is one of those dead end, middle-of-the-pack picks with hit-or-miss players. That’s not the case this year as the entire first round is full of first-round talent.
In a year with so much talent across the board, it should be close to impossible to miss with a pick. It’s an opportune time to fill a major need for any team. The Jets are in a supreme position to continue their rebuilding through the draft. I have listed five players who I believe the Jets should target, should they be available at 13.
1. Max Domi
Unlikely to be around at 13, Tie Domi’s son is a highly skilled player who can impact the offense in many different ways. Max is loaded with skill, one of the best skaters in the draft, and doesn’t shy away from the physical aspect of hockey. Although he is undersized at 5’9″, he has very quick feet, and he displays a good level of speed and agility. The Jets need more top 6 forwards to play alongside Evander Kane, and Tie Domi could fill that role.
Max Domi might sneak into the top 10, but he may drop a little due to his size. If he is available at 13, Winnipeg should not hesitate to pick up the 18 year-old centre.
2. Nikita Zadarov
The 6’5″, 220-pound defensemen from Russia plays a solid defensive game, underlined by a bruising and punishing physical style, which would create a nice 1-2 punch alongside Zach Bogosian. He skates at an above-average to plus level, which is significant for a player at his size. He can close gaps remarkably well. The rest of his game is not as impressive, but he could be a fine puck mover and positional defender. He possesses little to average offensive upside.
The Jets could use another defensive prospect, and Zadarov might be the best defenseman, if not the best player available at 13. The potential twin tower pairing of Bogosian and Zadarov is hard to pass up.
3. Samuel Morin
The other defensemen on the list, Samuel Morin, is the player many mock drafts have the Jets taking. The big defenseman from Canada has great size and is very physical, but he’s also a solid skater. He is a bit of a project, and needs development on his offensive game. He tends to make the safe play, minimizing his mistakes in his own end.
4. Hunter Shinkaruk
Hunter Shinkaruk’s great vision and hockey sense to go along with his dynamic ability to score goals might make him one of the best pure goal scorers of the draft.
He’s a player the Jets would easily consider, in any case. The Jets need a pure goal scorer to play alongside Evander Kane, and not many fit the bill like Shinkaruk. He may not be around at 13, but you never know who will drop on draft day.
5. Alexander Wennberg
Outside of his tremendous speed and stick handling skills, Wennberg has top-notch hockey IQ. He plays the game with a ton of patience and rarely makes a mistake.