Bryan Little Six Years Later

Bryan Little —

Bryan Little played this past season in the NHL for the Winnipeg Jets

Position: Center      Shoots: Right

DOB: Nov.12, 

Height: 5’11     Weight: 185

Selected by: Atlanta    Round: 1st   Overall: 12th   Year: 2006 NHL Entry Draft

Six Years Later

I will be continuing my prospect analysis today with Winnipeg Jets center Bryan Little.  I like to pick a current roster player on one of my favorite teams and look back at  their post draft projections.  The projections are based on their amateur careers and draft position.  One of my favorite websites for this sort of thing is Hockey’s Future.  Bryan Little played four seasons in the OHL for the Barrie Colts and was an absolute stud.  In his four seasons in Barrie,  he posted an impressive 153 goals, 189 assists for a total of 342 points along with 228 PIM and a plus/minus rating of +98  in 247  regular season games.  Let’s see what the guys at Hockey’s Future said.


b littleAfter Six Years In The NHL

It’s been 7 years since the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and Bryan Little’s evaluation from the guys at Hockey’s Future was solid.  Their analysis of Bryan Little was a lot more realistic than you would expect based on his junior statistics.

Take away Bryan Little’s 31 goal season in 2008-09 and his offensive game at the NHL level hasn’t transitioned anywhere close to the level of his junior game.  The guys at Hockey’s Future mentioned his offensive upside and I agree with the description.

I like Bryan Little and I really like his skill-set but I can’t figure out why he doesn’t put up better numbers.  He skates well,  has a very good shot and he is a very good puck handler.  Along with this, he passes the puck well, he has good on-ice vision, hustles and works hard.  I basically used my whole scouting repertoire describing him.  Since he is our number one center and will be for the near future, we’ll look at his production based on that.

Bryan Little. (Photo by Shawn Coates)

Bryan Little. (Photo by Shawn Coates)

I’m hard on Little because based on his skill level, line-mates, power-play time and role on the team I expect more.  I have caught flack from fans and other media for criticizing Bryan Little.

Excuse me if I expect more and put my pom-poms down for a few moments.  I pointed out that Little’s 32 points last season were scored in 24 games so he was basically held pointless for the other half of the season.

You’d think I kicked a puppy in the head from the backlash I received on Twitter!!  One fan correctly pointed out that his points per game was 1.33 in those 24 games.  Was I suppose to feel some kind of solace in that statistic?  The fact still remains that he was scoreless in the other 24 games. Number one centers can’t be that inconsistent. Little brings a lot to the table and even if his fans have rose colored glasses on he would be the FIRST to tell everybody he needs to do more.  He is a hard working character guy and I’m glad he’s on my team.

The disturbing thing to me is that I seem to be in the minority and fans will make the excuse that Little’s really a number two center. If you center the first line and you want to be paid like the teams number one center ergo, you must be the number one center.  As a Winnipeg Jets fan, it’s okay to want and expect more from your team.  It doesn’t mean your a bad fan.  When your parents spanked you, I’m pretty sure they still loved you.  I guess that’s for the older fans.  Spanking probably isn’t in the Webster Dictionary anymore but you know what I mean.

The guys at Hockey’s Future gave him a Prospect Talent Score (PTS) of 7.5 and a Probability Of Success (POS) rating of B.  I’d like to think he’s better than that even though the numbers don’t bear me out yet.

In conclusion, I still think Bryan Little finds a happy medium in his game.  IMHO, Little has the skill, line mates and opportunity to be a consistent 55-60 point center.  I don’t think I’m setting the bar too high.  Bryan Little has gone from a “Prospect” to an “under-achieving pro” and now the next step is a “consistent NHL center” which is absolutely doable.

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Comments welcome below



  1. R Fitzpatrick says

    Spot on insight as usual. Jets should be looking for that number 1.If acquired you just might see a change in Little’s offensive consistency.

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