2015 NHL Entry Draft: Winnipeg Jets Rounds 5 – 7

Winnipeg Jets Day 2 Draft Recap: Rounds 5 – 7 –

The Winnipeg Jets selected six more players on day two of the 2015 NHL Draft. Including the two players selected in the first round, it brings their total number of players drafted this year to eight.

On day two the Winnipeg Jets selected Jansen Harkins (47th), Erik Foley (78th), Michael Spacek (108th), Mason Appleton (168th), Sami Niku (198th) and Matteo Gennaro (203rd).

Let’s take a look at the final three players selected by the Winnipeg Jets.

Mason Appleton

Selected – 6th round   Overall – 168

League: USHL   Team: Tri-City

Position: C   Shoots: Right

DOB: Jan. 26, 1996   Born: Green Bay, WI

Height: 6’2   Weight:  194

2014-15 USHL Stats: Regular season

Games: 54  G: 12  A: 28   Pts: 40   PIM: 84  Plus/Minus: -3

Reaction – neutral 

Mason Appleton is a late bloomer that has grown over a foot since he started playing high-school hockey.  Drafting an older (draft eligible last year) 40 point forward out of the USHL doesn’t usually make a lot of sense but to be honest, it has very little risk and once again the Jets get to watch him develop for free, as he is committed to the NCAA next season at Michigan State University.  

Sami Niku

Selected – 7th round   Overall – 198

League: SM-Liiga   Team: JyP HT Jyvaskyla

Position: LD   Shoots: Left

DOB: Oct. 10, 1996   Born: Haapavesi, FIN

Height: 6’1   Weight: 176

2014-15 SM-Liiga Stats: Regular season

Games: 12  G: 0  A: 1   Pts: 1  PIM: 6  Plus/Minus: +1

2014-15 SM-Liiga2 Stats: Regular season

Games: 39  G: 3  A: 22   Pts: 25  PIM: 24  Plus/Minus: +8

Reaction ?

Sami Niku played in Finland this past season splitting time between the SM-Liiga and the Mestis leagues.  Although the Finnish pro leagues aren’t as strong as in the past it is still a good test for an eighteen-year-old.  He is a puck moving defenceman with decent size and a good skill-set.  He is a very solid late round selection.  Niku was projected as high as a 3rd – 5th round pick on some draft boards.

Matteo Gennaro

Selected – 7th round   Overall – 203

League: WHL   Team: Prince Albert

Position: C/LW   Shoots: Left

DOB: Mar. 30, 1997   Born: St. Albert, AB

Height: 6’3   Weight: 187

2014-15 WHL Stats: Regular season

Games: 72  G: 16  A: 15   Pts: 31  PIM: 44  Plus/Minus: -9

From Cody Nickolet: website –  whlfromabove

despite being a rather large and tall player, he does a good job sneaking around the offensive zone and finding space … understands offensive positioning and spacing … thinks the game at a good level regarding both his body and stick positioning … isn’t a banger or crasher defensively but still makes good use of his size and length away from the puck, including on the forecheck

AND

I think he projects as a 3rd line type of centre at the next level if development goes very well and even if he goes undrafted this year, he should draw some pro interest down the line

Reaction – neutral 

It is pretty hard to criticize a 7th round pick.  So we’ll watch, wait, and see.  

All in all, I think the Winnipeg Jets did a good job at this year’s annual yearling sale but the truth won’t be known for 3-5 years.  To put things in perspective Winnipeg Jets fans, we are heading into year five and the only draft picks on the current roster are Mark Scheifele, Adam Lowry, and Jacob Trouba.  That’s not a lot but it’s a process and this upcoming training camp is where we should see another draft pick or two knocking on the door.  It could be Nik Ehlers, Nic Petan, Josh Morrissey or somebody else could surprise.  Stay tuned.

2015 NHL Entry Draft grade: B

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