Top Heavy Draft?
The talk of this draft is how it’s very top-heavy, and that, after the top-10, the drop-off is significant. Not only do I find this to be incorrect, but I also find it to be slightly shortsighted, as it should be pointed that out of those currently ranked in the top-10 (Lafrenière, Byfield, Stutzle, Raymond, Rossi, Holtz, Perfetti, Lundell, Drsydale and Askarov in no particular order) most have been on our radar since last year.
That kind of reinforced familiarity has made it look like this these youngsters are in a class of their own, which, in my opinion is absolutely false. Just in the 2019 draft, we saw the meteoric rise of players like Kirby Dach (whom was ranked in the teens at one point) and, most important of all, Moritz Seider. Folks were convinced that the likes of Cole Caufield or Matthew Boldy would be surefire top-10 picks, but alas, the rush for defensemen, which was spurred by Seider’s surprise selection at 6th overall, created an opportunity to pick a top-10 offensive talent into the teens.
So, with that said, who could possibly challenge this massive class of potential stars? Let’s take a look!
Seth Jarvis has literally blown onto the scene in a very serious way this season. The 5’10 172 Lbs offensive dynamo for the Portland Winterhawks has been on an absolute mission this season, posting 42 goals and 56 assists for 98 points in just 58 games. What’s most impressive is that his offensive production is the highest in all three Canadian junior leagues since January 1st. In his 37 games prior, Jarvis put up an impressive 49 points in 37 games and had many ranking him in the mid-to-late 1st round. However, as of January, the young man absolutely took off, scoring 22 goals and adding 27 assists in just 21 games. That’s a rate of over 2.3 points per game, and the highest in all of the CHL during this period of time!
Some of you may ask, well what changed? Well, he began gain confidence in his ability to drive to the net. As evidence by the sequence above, Jarvis is able to use his blazing speed to beat defenders one-on-one, but also to absolutely blow by them with slick dekes and power moves to the center of the slot. In doing so, Jarvis sets himself up for a prime scoring chance, and that is all she wrote.
Again, even in the sequence below, we see the young man exploding off the boards, making a slick deke, eventually turning his body position toward the danger area, and letting a shot off that eventually goes in off a teammate’s stick. It’s not that Jarvis necessarily has to score or has unquestionably set up the play to be efficient, he simply drives the offence in a way that reminds many of Brayden Point in Tampa Bay.
More Than Just Points
However, even while on the periphery, Jarvis is dangerous because of his deception. In the sequence below, you can see him receiving the puck along the board on the powerplay, pull in the puck (as if to ready a shot) and ultimately make a laser, cross-ice pass to a streaking teammates for a one-timer. That is elite-level deception and elite-level vision from Jarvis, who continued on his torrid scoring pace.
However, what sticks out the most to me is his speed and tenacity. Before his offensive game reached another level (or two?) this winter, Jarvis always had a motor that would never stop and would be incredibly noticeable on the ice for his gritty play and tenacious fore-check. This young man oozes character and leadership, often setting-up or scoring the clutch goal for the Winterhawks this season.
Top-10 Worthy? Oui, Papa!
Some people, who are extremely high on Jarvis, already have him in the top-10 of their respective rankings, and to be fair, they aren’t necessarily out to lunch. I too believe Jarvis could be worthy of a top-10 pick if a team prefers the extra intangibles to his game over uncertain offensive production at the next level for other top-10 prospects.
Personally speaking, I believe that Jarvis has all the tools to be an impactful top-6 player, at C or W. He can run a powerplay, a penalty kill, a counter attack, and could even be your go-to-guy for shootouts. Some people may complain that his size might be a problem, but he plays against pretty stiff competition in the WHL (known for icing big defensemen) and every time, he makes them look silly for underestimating him. So do yourself a favour, and don’t make the same mistake!
More To Come!
I’ll also be covering the following prospects in coming editions of the ‘’Not Just the Top 10’’
So stay tuned!