2021 TSP: Winnipeg Jets Prospects

Cole Perfetti, 2021 Winnipeg Jets Prospects
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Welcome to the 2021 Top Shelf Prospects series. As we go through the Summer of 2021 LWOH will be featuring a team-by-team look at the top prospects in the NHL. You can find all the articles here.  Since we had an extensive NHL Draft preview, we will not be reviewing the players who were drafted in the 2021 draft, as there have been no games since then, and our reports on them will not have changed. Today, we look at the 2021 Winnipeg Jets Prospects.

What we will be doing is linking you to those articles, as well as taking a look at prospects that were acquired before this year’s draft; their progress, and their chances of making the 2021-22 roster of the NHL team in question. We will also bring you one sleeper pick – a player who was either drafted in the 4th-round or later, or was an undrafted free agent signing who we pick as our dark horse to make the NHL. For those wondering, the cut-off for what is or isn’t a prospect is typically about 50 NHL games played (including playoff games) or is 25 years old. These are not hard or fast rules though, and we may make some exceptions depending on the circumstances.

NHL free agent frenzy

2021 Winnipeg Jets Prospects

Jets Season and Off-Season

The Jets season got off to an interesting start with a blockbuster deal that saw Patrick Laine and Jack Roslovic traded to Columbus for Pierre-Luc Dubois and a draft pick. With their new centre, the Jets finished third in the North Division. They also swept the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That would be as far as they would go as the Jets were swept by the Montreal Canadiens in the second round.

In the off-season, the Jets lost Mason Appleton to expansion. The Jets also lost Mathieu Perreault, Tucker Poolman, Jordie Benn, Nate Thompson, and Laurent Broissoit in free agency. Meanwhile, the team added defencemen Nate Schmidt and Brenden Dillon in trades, as well as signing free-agent centre Riley Nash. While the moves have bolstered the blueline, there were more losses than gains, and as such there are some opportunities for youngsters to make an impact this year.

2021 NHL Draft Picks (B-): Chaz LuciusNikita Chibrikov, Dmitry Kuzmin, Dmitri Rashevsky
Graduations: Jansen Harkins, Logan Stanley, Sami Niku,

 

2021 Top Winnipeg Jets Prospect: Cole Perfetti

Centre/Left Wing — shoots Left
Born January 1st, 2002 — Whitby, Ontario
Height 5’11” — Weight 177 lbs [180 cm/80 kg]
Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1st Round, #10 Overall, at the 2020 NHL Draft.

Perfetti started his season playing for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. He put up two goals and six points in seven games and helped the Canadian Team to a Silver Medal. With the OHL never getting started, he then joined the Manitoba Moose in the AHL. He had an excellent season with nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points in 32 games. Perfetti finished the campaign again playing in a Canadian National Team sweater. He put up two goals in 10 games at the Men’s World Championships and helped the team to a gold medal.

Skating

Perfetti can use some work on his first few steps and his overall speed. While he is not slow, he also is not amongst the quickest or fastest skaters around either. Perfetti could work with a good skating coach and improve his stride in the coming years. The rest of his footwork is very good though. His edgework and agility allow him to make quick cuts and to shake defenders. He also has a low centre of gravity and good lower body strength. This gives Perfetti the ability to fight through checks and makes him tough to knock off the puck. He is good at establishing his position in front of the net as well as winning battles along the boards. This area of his game will only improve as he gets bigger and stronger.

Offensive Game

Perfetti has outstanding hands. He can make moves in a phone booth. Perfetti combines his hands with his ability to make quick cuts and changes of direction. This makes him extremely dangerous in one-on-one situations whether it be working out of the cycle or coming in off the rush. He uses his quick moves to create shooting and passing lanes. Perfetti sees the ice extremely well and only needs to create a small amount of space to be able to set up a linemate. His ability to control the puck down low allows him to maintain puck possession in the cycle game. He is a smart player who almost always makes the right play with the puck.

Perfetti is a sniper. He has an outstanding wrist shot, featuring power, accuracy, and a very quick release. He also has a strong snapshot and an excellent one-timer. Perfetti can even score on the backhand. His quick hands also allow him to score in close to the net, where he can make a quick move on a goaltender, bury a rebound or a pass from a teammate, or deflect a shot. Despite his smaller size, Perfetti is willing to get involved in battles on the boards as well as get in quickly on the forecheck and pressure opposing defenders and create turnovers.

Defensive Game

Perfetti shows a willingness to contribute at the defensive end of the ice. He uses his high-end hockey IQ to read the play and maintain the proper positioning. He also has a quick stick to intercept passes and to poke-check opponents. While he is not afraid of contact and playing physically, his lack of size and strength can be a detriment when facing bigger forwards. He could also use a bit more work in the faceoff circle if he is to be a centre in the NHL.

Outlook

There is some question as to whether Perfetti will be a centre or a left-wing at the NHL level, however, his offensive talent means that no matter what position he settles in, he can be a first-line forward. In order to play at centre at the pro level, Perfetti will need to work on his speed and his acceleration. He could challenge for a spot on the Jets in training camp, but is young and would benefit from a bit more time at the AHL level as well. He should be a big part of Canada’s 2022 entry at the World Juniors if released to play. Perfetti could get some games with a nine-game tryout, or a callup later in the season.

 

#2 Prospect: Chaz Lucius

The Jets drafted Lucius with the 18th overall pick in this year’s NHL draft. Prior to the draft, we did an in-depth scouting report on Lucius. As no games have been played since that report; we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.

 

#3 Prospect: Ville Heinola

Defence — shoots Left
Born March 2nd, 2001 — Honkajoki, Finland
Height 5’11” — Weight 181 lbs [181 cm/82 kg]
Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1st Round, 20th Overall, at the 2020 NHL Draft.

Heinola started the season with Lukko in the Finnish Liiga. He put up one goal and 14 points in 19 games. Heinola also put up four assists in seven games, winning a bronze medal with Finland at the World Juniors. He then played 19 games with the Manitoba Moose, scoring four goals and 11 points. Heinola also played five games for the Jets.

Skating

Heinola has very good mobility. He has excellent agility, strong crossovers, and very good pivots. This skating ability allows Heinola to get around the ice effectively. His acceleration and speed are good but not great. He could stand to get a little quicker in his first few steps. Some work with a skating coach to improve his stride would also help him to be faster and more powerful. Right now, he does not fall behind the play and is certainly not slow, but there is room for improvement too. His balance is decent due to his low centre of gravity but he could stand to get stronger and this will help him in battles on the boards and in front of the net.

Offensive Game

Heinola is a very smart player. He reads the play well in both ends of the ice.  Offensively, he starts the transition game with a good first pass. He also has the vision and poise with the puck to quarterback things from the point. Heinola is very creative and willing to put the puck through tight spaces to set up a teammate. He is also a very good stickhandler. Heinola can skate the puck out of his own end and make plays through the neutral zone. He also has the poise to handle the puck and the patience to wait for the opportunity to make plays at the point.

Heinola uses his agility to walk the line and open up passing and shooting lanes. He has a very good slap shot and a good wrist shot with a quick release. Heinola makes good decisions to sneak down from the point and get that wrist shot off from the top of the circles. This can be particularly effective on the power play. He also understands how to get them on the net and keeps his shot low to encourage deflections and rebounds. He is able to adjust his feet and still get off his one-timer, even when the pass is less than perfect.

Defensive Game

Defensively, Heinola cuts down passing lanes and creates turnovers. His intelligence extends to his own end, as he reads the play well and anticipates what opponents will do. His positioning is good and his stick is very quick. He uses his good agility and edgework to maintain good gap control and to force opponents to the outside. Heinola is still a bit undersized and this limits his ability to play a physical game. He is not a big hitter, preferring to use his stick to break up plays. He will need to improve his upper-body strength in order to be better in front of the net and along the boards.

Outlook

Heinola is close to being NHL ready despite being just 20 years old. That said, a year in the AHL, playing 25 minutes a game and being used in all situations would not be a bad thing. While he did well in the AHL last year, it must be remembered that this was not a normal season. He played just 19 games and AHL squads league-wide were weaker than normal due to a number of AHL vets being on NHL taxi squads. Expect Heinola to be one of the team’s first call-ups if injuries hit with the plan being to make the NHL full time in 2022-23.

 

#4 Prospect: Nikita Chibrikov

The Jets drafted Chibrikov with the 50th overall pick in this year’s NHL draft. Prior to the draft, we did an in-depth scouting report on Chibrikov. As no games have been played since that report; we will not repeat it. You can check out the report here.

 

#5 Prospect: Dylan Samberg

Left Defence — shoots Left
Born January 24th, 1999 — Hermantown, Minnesota
Height 6’4″ — Weight 223 lbs [193 cm / 101 kg]
Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2nd round, #43 overall at the 2017 NHL Draft

After three years with the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Samberg signed an entry-level contract and played his first pro season with the Manitoba Moose. He put up one goal and six assists for seven points in 32 games.

Skating

Samberg has excellent size and combines that with very good skating. His top-end speed is very good, allowing him to join the rush, or pinch in at the blue line and still get back defensively. He is also quick when skating backwards. Good agility and edgework allow him to keep defenders in front of him, on the rush. Quick pivots also let him transition from defence to offence, or vice-versa quickly. Samberg also has good balance on his skates. His lower-body strength makes him hard to knock off the puck and effective in battles for loose pucks.

Offensive Game

Samberg has a decent slap shot from the point. He generates good stick flex and power. He also has a hard wrist shot with an excellent release. However, Samberg has a tendency to fire the puck into traffic, getting his shots blocked before they get to the net. He must work on moving laterally as well as opening up the shooting lanes before letting his shot go in order to improve his goal totals. He would also do well to keep the puck low, allowing teammates to get screens, deflections, and rebounds.

Samberg’s passing game has improved since his draft year. He has become more poised with the puck and slows things down making a smart pass. He can still rush things at times, but this is much less often. He doesn’t make bad passes and giveaways when this happens, he just makes plays that are less than optimal.  A short, safe pass or a chip off the boards as opposed to something that will generate speed and offence. These are issues that he had at the start of his college career and got better as he became more comfortable in the league. He could see further improvements as he adjusts to the pro game.

Defensive Game

Samberg is a solid defensive player with good positioning. He uses a long and active stick to cut down passing lanes, as well as being willing to put his body in position to block shots. Samberg is willing to take a hit to make a play. He also uses his big frame to lean on opponents in the corners and to clear the front of the net. However, Samberg is not a big hitter. He keeps himself disciplined in his position, and forces his man to the outside, but does not look for that big body check.

Outlook

Samberg heads to training camp looking to make the team. However, there were times where he was still adjusting to AHL speed last year and he may need a bit more time this season. As mentioned above, the AHL was weaker than normal last year. He would certainly benefit from another season playing at that level before making the team full-time in 2022.

#6 Prospect: Kristian Vesalainen

Left Wing/Right Wing — shoots Left
Born June 1st, 1999 — Helsinki, Finland
Height 6’4″ — Weight 207 lbs [192 cm / 94 kg]
Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 1st round, #24 overall, at the 2017 NHL Draft.

Vesalainen started the season in Finland. He put up four goals and four assists for eight points in 10 Liiga games. He also spent time with Manitoba in the AHL, scoring one goal and five points in six games. Vesalainen had the chance to play 12 games regular-season for the Jets, as well as four playoff games but struggled to translate his offence in the big show. He picked up just one assist.

Skating

Vesalainen is a very good skater for his size. He has an explosive first step and very good acceleration, allowing him to be quick on loose pucks. He also has good top-end speed. Possessing good lower body strength, and a powerful stride, Vesalainen is very good at fighting through checks and getting to the front of the net. He also is strong along the boards, winning battles for the puck and controlling the game in the cycle game. His agility and edgework are exceptional for a big man, with the ability to change directions and manoeuvre away from defenders.

Offensive Game

A versatile player, Vesalainen has experience playing both wings. He has excellent size and uses it to protect the puck along the boards and extend plays in the cycle. Gifted with a large wing-span, Vesalainen takes advantage of it and uses his excellent stickhandling ability to play keep-away with defenders. He also has the passing skill to move the puck to teammates in good areas once he creates that time and space. A budding power forward, Vesalainen wins battles along the boards. He is also not afraid to fight through checks to get to the front of the net.

Vesalainen also has an excellent array of shots. His wrist shot and snapshot both feature great power and a quick release. He could work on his accuracy though. Vesalainen can also bury in tight to the net, with the soft hands to finish in close to the goaltender. When at his best, he chases down loose pucks relentlessly and is involved in the play in all three zones. However, he needs to be more consistent as there are games where he seems to disappear as well.

Vesalainen has had some issues bringing all those tools together at the NHL level. He needs to do a better job of reading the play and making smart plays with the puck. He also could work on finding open space in dangerous areas without the puck.

Defensive Game

Vesalainen can be a very good two-way player. As mentioned, there are times he is willing to get involved in battling for loose pucks in all three zones and is committed to backchecking. He supports the defence down low and understands how to apply backpressure. He is very good positionally and cuts down passing and shooting lanes. Vesalainen has been used on the penalty kill at the international level. There are times at the NHL level where he has seemed overwhelmed and isn’t bringing that same effort level every shift. This is another area where he needs to bring more consistency.

Outlook

Vesalainen should be back in North America for Jets training camp. He looks to make a bigger impression this season. With all the changes in Winnipeg, there will be a spot open for him to earn it in training camp and pre-season. Even if sent to the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, it is unlikely he spends the entire season there and could make an impact on the Jets this year.

 

#7 Prospect: David Gustafsson

Centre — shoots Left
Born April 11th, 2000 — Tingsryd, Sweden
Height 6’2″ — Weight 196 lbs [188 cm/89 kg]
Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2nd round, #60 overall at the 2018 NHL Draft.

Gustafsson also started the season in Europe. In 16 games with Tingsryds in the Allsvenskan, he put up seven goals and 17 points. He also had seven goals and 19 points in 22 games with the Manitoba Moose. Gustafsson even got in four games with the Jets but it was in limited ice time and he was unable to find the score sheet.

Skating

Gustafsson has an awkward skating stride. While he still generates decent speed and acceleration, it could be a lot better with some refinements in his technique. His agility and edgework are also areas that can continue to improve in the coming years. One area that Gustafsson does excel though is in his lower-body strength. This allows him to fight through checks, and get to the front of the net. Strong balance helps him to win battles along boards and makes him strong on the puck.

Offensive Game

Gustafsson is a goal scorer. He gets to the front of the net and uses his size to screen goalies and create havoc in front of the net. While there, he has the hand-eye coordination to get deflections as well as the quickness to pounce on rebounds. He also has a quick one-timer in tight. Gustafsson has a strong and accurate wrist shot and snapshot. Both shots feature an extremely quick release that fools goaltenders.

Gustafsson is strong in puck possession and works well in the cycle. He controls the puck down low and keeps the play moving. However, he is not a creative playmaker. Gustafsson makes the simple pass to an open teammate. Off the rush, he also plays a very north-south style of game, looking to create opportunities by getting the puck to the front of the net. He is also strong on the forecheck, pressuring opposing defenders, and creating offence out of the turnovers that are created.

Defensive Game

Gustafsson already plays a strong defensive game. He provides support and backpressure against the rush and supports the defence down low against the cycle game. Gustafsson is a smart player. He reads the play well and cuts down passing and shooting lanes. He uses his strong play on the boards in all three zones. Gustafsson is a strong penalty killer. He creates turnovers and can transition quickly to offence. He is also excellent on faceoffs.

Outlook

Gustafsson will head to training camp looking to find a spot on the Jets bottom-six. With his skating and the Jets current centre depth, it may make sense that he moves to the wing going forward. He could make the team this year with a strong training camp. The team and Gustafsson are hoping that the offence he has shown at lower levels starts to translate and show up in the NHL.

 

#8 Prospect: Declan Chisholm

Left Defence — shoots Left
Born January 12th, 2000 — Bowmanville, Ontario
Height 6’1″ — Weight 185 lbs [185 cm/84 kg]
Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 5th round, #150 overall, at the 2018 NHL Draft.

After a successful junior career in Peterborough, Chisholm turned pro and was effective in his first AHL season with Manitoba. In 28 AHL games, he put up two goals and 11 assists for 13 points.

Skating

Chisholm’s game is defined by his skating ability. His stride is smooth and powerful. This gives him good speed and acceleration in both directions. Chisholm can push the pace up the ice and still get back defensively. He also has very good edgework and agility. Chisholm’s ability to move laterally helps him to create passing and shooting lanes in the offensive zone. It also allows him to maintain good gap control in his own end. His pivots are clean and crisp, allowing Chisholm to transition quickly from defence to offence and vice-versa. Chisholm works hard to battle in the corners and in front of the net. However, he could stand to get stronger. Once he matures physically, this area of his game should improve.

Offensive Game

Chisholm has very good playmaking skills. He is poised with the puck, allowing him to carry it out of danger in his zone and start the transition game. He is capable of carrying the puck through the neutral zone, using his skating and stickhandling to generate effective zone entries. Chisholm is also poised with the puck at the blueline, using his lateral agility to create passing and shooting lanes. He sees the ice well, allowing him to make a good first pass out of his own end, create scoring chances in transition and to quarterback the power play. Chisholm was a dominant offensive player at the junior level and showed flashes of this in the AHL but needs time to adjust to the faster speed of the pro game.

Chisholm’s slap shot is decent but will never be confused for a howitzer. As he continues to gain upper-body strength it may improve. He is good at finding open ice and moving laterally to create shooting lanes. Chisholm keeps his shot low and on the net, giving his teammates opportunities to get to the front of the net and create scoring opportunities. He also has a good wrist shot and can use it as a trailer on the rush, or from the top of the circles. Chisholm is aggressive in pinching in at the blue line and keeping possession in the zone, allowing his team to generate more offensive chances.

Defensive Game

Chisholm’s skating makes him difficult to beat in one-on-one situations. He forces attackers to the outside and is quick to use a poke check to knock the puck away from them. He does a good job of keeping attackers away from high danger areas. Chisholm’s positioning is also good and he does a good job of cutting down passing lanes with his active stick. When a turnover is created, Chisholm is good at retrieving the loose puck and starting the transition game. He is willing to work in the corners and in front of the net, but can struggle with bigger and stronger forwards. Chisholm also needs to be a bit more disciplined with his stick, as he can sometimes get in trouble for tripping or hooking when beaten by his man.

Outlook

Chisholm needs to continue to work on refining his game. He should be back with the Moose this season, looking to play a bigger role and be a leader on the team. Chisholm needs to show that his offence from the junior level can translate against professionals. If he can continue to develop, he could challenge for a spot in the next couple of years.

 

#9 Prospect: Jonathan Kovacevic

Defence — shoots Right
Born July 12th, 1997 — Grimsby, Ontario
Height 6’4″ — Weight 215 lbs [193 cm/98 kg]
Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 3rd round, #74 overall at the 2017 NHL Draft.

Kovacevic spent his second full season in Manitoba, scoring two goals and 14 points in 29 AHL games. These numbers showed improvement over his rookie campaign despite playing 16 fewer games.

Skating

Kovacevic is a decent skater, especially for a big man. He gets around the ice well enough to keep up with the play, with decent speed in both directions. His agility and edgework help him to maintain good gap control and keep himself between his man and the net. He also has decent pivots, allowing him to transition from offence to defence and vice-versa. Kovacevic does a good job of maintaining his speed and power through his turns with good crossovers. He is strong on his skates, difficult to knock off the puck and able to lean on opponents along the boards and in front of the net.  There is still room for improvement here, but his skating doesn’t hold Kovacevic back.

Offensive Game

Kovacevic is more of a triggerman than a quarterback on the point. He has a very heavy slap shot and a good wrist shot with a decent release. He sneaks in from the point and likes to let that shot go from the top of the faceoff circles. However, he must do a better job of getting his shots through to the net. Kovacevic needs to do a better job of getting himself open and avoid shot blockers. Using his agility to move sideways, walk the line, and open up passing lanes would also help.

Kovacevic is able to skate the puck out of tight areas in his own zone and start the transition game. He also makes a smart first pass. However, he does not often carry the puck through the neutral zone, choosing instead to move the puck up the ice to forwards. Kovacevic picks his spots well and joins the rush as a trailer at times. In the offensive zone, he moves the puck quickly and finds the open man, but is not really creative. He prefers the safe pass to a creative one that might create a scoring chance. He is also able to pinch in to keep the puck in at the line, but picks his spots and is relatively conservative in making these plays. Kovacevic doesn’t take big risks, preferring to defend his end of the ice.

Defensive Game

Kovacevic uses his size effectively. If a forward is not careful in carrying the puck on his side of the ice, he is willing to throw a big hit. He keeps his man to the outside, forcing him to bad areas and away from scoring opportunities. Kovacevic protects the middle of the ice and clears the front of the net when he is away from the puck. He is also willing to play physically in fighting for loose pucks and containing the cycle game. He needs to continue to be disciplined. Overall his positioning is strong. He uses his stick well to cut down passing lanes and create turnovers. Kovacevic is also willing to put his body on the line, getting into shooting lanes and blocking shots.

Outlook

Kovacevic is set for his third full season of pro hockey. He will likely head to Manitoba, looking to continue working on improving his offence and skating. If things go well he could challenge for a spot on the Jets blueline in the next year or two.

 

#10 Prospect: Daniel Torgersson

Left Wing/Right Wing — shoots Left
Born January 26th, 2002 — Hono, Sweden
Height 6’3″ — Weight 205 lbs [190 cm / 93 kg]
Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2nd round, #40 Overall, at the 2020 NHL Draft.

After being drafted in the second round of the 2020 Draft, Torgenson struggled with injury last season. He played 10 games in the Swedish Under-20 league, picking up four goals and nine points. He was also able to get in two games with Frolunda in the SHL.

Skating

Torgersson’s skating helps him to play a power game. There are some aspects that could use improvement though. Torgersson has a powerful stride. He is strong on the puck and wins battles in the corners and in front of the net. He can also fight through checks and keep his balance as he drives to the net. Torgersson also has very good top-end speed. However, his first step and his acceleration can be improved While he can keep up with the play and is good through a 200-foot game, he can have some issues in shorter races to loose pucks. Torgersson can also use some work on his edgework and agility. He lacks a bit of lateral agility. An improvement would help him to change directions quickly and get around defenders both with and without the puck. He also loses speed in his turns.

Offensive Game

Torgersson uses his size and strength to his advantage. He is able to control the play down low and cycle the puck with smart passes to teammates. His strong stickhandling allows him to keep his body between the puck and the defender, controlling it to make plays. Torgersson is also effective on the forecheck. While he isn’t a big hitter, he is good at chasing down defenders and creating turnovers. When he moves the puck, he keeps his feet moving and gets to the front of the net to take a return pass from a teammate. He sees the ice well and makes the smart play with the puck on his stick, but isn’t the most creative passer.

Torgersson has an accurate wrist shot and a quick release. He could stand to improve is power though. Torgersson usually scores from his shot working closer to the net. He needs to be inside the face-off dots. He can also use some work on his slap shot and one-timer though. Torgersson is effective in front of the net. He has quick hands and can elevate the puck in tight to the goal. His size creates a screen and he has the hand-eye coordination to pounce on rebounds or get tip-ins. Torgersson is willing to battle defenders to establish his spot in front of the net. He’s also good at fighting for loose pucks in the corners.

Defensive Game

Torgersson is effective defensively. He uses his size and strength to support the defence down low on the cycle game. He also reads the play well and puts himself in a position to intercept passes and create turnovers in the defensive zone. Torgersson has a quick stick which also helps him to create turnovers. He does a good job of sticking close to his man. He also takes good angles and provides effective backpressure against the rush. When a turnover is created Torgersson looks to transition the puck up the ice.

Projection and Comparison

Torgersson could become a middle-six winger at the next level. His combination of size and skating ability make him a decent prospect. His defensive ability also helps as he could make the NHL, even if his offence never fully develops. There is a chance he can be a top-six winger but would need to improve his first few steps as well as add a bit more creativity and variety to his game. Torgersson is likely to spend the season in Sweden and has joined AIK in the Allsvenskan.

 

Sleeper Prospect: Mikhail Berdin

Goalie — shoots Left — Catches left
Born March 1st, 1998 — Ufa, Russia
Height 6’3″ — Weight 180 lbs [191 cm / 82 kg]
Drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the 6th round, #157 overall, at the 2016 NHL Draft.

Berdin started the season with SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL. In 14 games, he put up a 2.51 goals-against-average and .912 save percentage. He went 6-3-2. Berdin also played 30 games for Manitoba, putting up a 13-11-5 record. He had a 2.89 goals-against-average and a .897 save percentage.

Skating and Talent Analysis

Berdin is an athletic goalie, with very quick reflexes. His legs are particularly quick and help him to take away the bottom of the net. His glove and blocker are also good. Berdin is good at tracking pucks and moves very well laterally. He could stand to work on his rebound control, which is often an issue for goalie prospects. Berdin comes out of his crease to challenge shooters and take away the net. He’s increased his weight from 160 pounds when drafted to over 180 pounds today. This is something that he must continue to work on in order to battle through traffic at the pro level and have the stamina for a longer schedule.

Berdin is also good at handling the puck. He comes out of his net to stop pucks and makes a quick outlet pass to his defencemen, acting as a third member of the defence on dump-ins. If he catches the other team on a line change, he is able to quickly throw a long pass up the ice and create an odd-man rush.

Mental Makeup

Berdin is able to deal with traffic and chaos around his crease without letting it get to him. He has also shown the ability to maintain his focus through stretches when his team dominates the game and he doesn’t see shots against. The ability to adjust in these two different situations shows Berdin’s adaptability and resolve. He recovers quickly after giving up a goal and is ready to face the next shot and continue to make saves.

Outlook

Berdin is still young and has time to develop. He heads to training camp looking to challenge for the Jets backup goalie position. If he can’t beat out Eric Comrie, Berdin will play for the Moose this season and look to have another strong season before getting his opportunity at the NHL level.

 

Other 2021 Winnipeg Jets Prospects

The Jets prospect depth is hurt by the fact that they have traded away picks and prospects in recent years. In the last three drafts, they have made just 14 picks, instead of 21, essentially trading away an entire year’s worth of picks. Despite this, they have decent depth in their prospect pool. In goal, the Jets also have Arvid Holm, Logan Neaton, and Jared Moe. Defence prospects to watch also include Simon Lundmark, Leon Gawanke, Dmitri Kuzmin, Tyrel Bauer, and Anton Johannesson. Upfront, the Jets also have hopes for the development of Henri Nikkanen, Harrison Blaisdell, Kristian Reichel, Nathan Smith, and Austin Wong.

 

2021 Winnipeg Jets Prospects Main Photo:

OTTAWA, ON – JANUARY 26: Saginaw Spirit Centre Cole Perfetti (91) skates with the puck during Ontario Hockey League action between the Saginaw Spirit and Ottawa 67’s on January 26, 2020, at TD Place Arena in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)