Annually the NBA has the Rising Stars game consisting of 1st and 2nd year young talent while the NHL has a smaller version during the All-Star weekend. However it did show some youthful skill. Not one of the Jets’ young arsenal was selected despite their skill. Winnipeg is completely set for at least the next five years. Their skill goes well beyond Petan, Ehlers and Morrissey. I am going to give you insight on Winnipeg’s “sleepers” ranked 1-5.
1. Eric Comrie (Tri-City Americans)
Comrie was selected 59th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. He has not been given a chance to prove his worth to the Winnipeg organization. He didn’t have to look far for information about hockey for his brothers Mike and Paul both played in the NHL. Eric played a total of 168 games for the Americans. He averaged an outstanding .920 save %, over the course of his career, with a 2.27 G.A.A. He has also stopped 4,904 rubber saucers from finding the mesh. Comrie will eventually be somewhat of a “draft steal” for the Jets and will most likely start for them if fate leaves Winnipeg no choice.
2. Jansen Harkins (PG Cougars)
Jansen thought for sure that he would be chosen in the first round but the teenager waited for his name to be called on Friday, June 26 before the evening was done. However he went back to his hotel room broken hearted. He was summoned back to
the BB&T the next day and heard his name called by Kevin Cheveldayoff. Harkins had 113 points over three seasons with Prince George; 30 were goals while 83 were helpers. He stands 6’1 and weighs 180 lbs. This size and speed will turn him into a dominant player in the future.
3. Brendan Lemieux (Barrie Colts)
Brendan Lemieux was selected 31st overall by the Buffalo Sabres in which was known as the “middle-class” draft because it was surrounded by the Nathan MacKinnon/Seth Jones and Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel drafts. Lemieux was dealt to Winnipeg in the Evander Kane exchange. This did not affect him because he was playing for Barrie. Brendan is Claude Lemieux’s only son. He is 6’1 and 240 lbs. Brendan is much like his dad and suspected to fill the role of Dustin Byfuglien.
4. Andrew Copp (Winnipeg Jets) Andrew Copp played for the University of Michigan and had 3 outstanding seasons until reporting to Winnipeg. Copp was drafted 104th overall in 2013. Andrew waited in agony for his name to be quoted. He was awarded 1 game this season and notched one assist to go home with a puck headlined “First NHL Point” He is the first of his family to crack onto the NHL scene. He stands at 6’2 and weighs 210 lbs. He models his game after Jamie Benn.
5. Chase De Leo (Portland Winter Hawks)
Chase De Leo was selected 99th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets. He played 4 seasons with the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League where he built a reputation while playing alongside Nic Petan and Oliver Bjorkstrand. He’s a lefty shooting center who does not have a size advantage. He is 5’10 head to toe and only weighs 170 lbs. He will eventually make the jump into the NHL and play with former Portland teammate Nic Petan. De Leo will have a successful career with Winnipeg.
Those were my predictions on Winnipeg’s sleepers from which I used my own information and ideas. The Winnipeg Jets have years of depth ahead of them.