The Winnipeg Jets are poised to secure a talented player for the future of the franchise with the 10th overall selection at Tuesday’s NHL Entry Draft, but it’s the late-round picks that truly showcase the Jets management’s great strength in drafting and developing.
The due diligence of the Jets’ scouting staff unearths gems like Vezina Trophy winner Connor Hellebuyck — drafted in the fifth round, 130th overall.
Centremen Adam Lowry and Mason Appleton were selected in the third and sixth rounds, respectively.
From draft day comes the development. Hellebuyck, Lowry, Appleton — now staples of the Jets roster —all spent multiple seasons in the American League.
Jets management lets them “bake” in the minors, which means allowing a player time to develop, adjust and learn the Jets’ culture without the spotlight of the show.
Playing with the Manitoba Moose means players will hear the same language, participate in the same practice drills and learn the game-day routine that the Jets abide by.
This is done strategically as part of their development, so when the time comes for a call-up, the only adjustment a player needs to make is to the speed of the NHL.
This fluid approach from draft day to development to delivering on an NHL stage has produced many homegrown players for the Jets organization, and if this formula is followed in the 2020 draft, the Jets are sure to plant some more successful seeds.
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