ST. PAUL – The Winnipeg Jets added seven new faces to their stable of talent over a two-day span at the NHL entry draft, completing what might be considered the busiest stretch in franchise history.
At least, until they get back to business this week.
After selecting Barrie Colts centre Mark Scheifele seventh overall on Friday night, the Jets made two minor deals on Saturday and then selected an addition six players in rounds two through seven at the XCel Energy Center.
Winnipeg grabbed two wingers on Saturday in Adam Lowry of the Swift Current Broncos and Austen Brassard of the Belleville Bulls, three defencemen in Brennan Serville – who is heading to the University of Michigan this fall – along with Zach Yuen of the Tri-Cities Americans and Aaron Harstad, off to Colorado College in September and Portage Terriers goaltender Jason Kasdorf.
All of the kids, as per the franchise template, are said to be of high character. And they are big kids, too.
"Size and speed are the things you hope to kind of accomplish, if you can," said GM Kevin Cheveldayoff. "If you can get that kind of combination, that’s something you certainly like. Did we target size? No. Are we happy the guys we got have size? Sure.
"I thought our staff was very prepared. They were very thorough in their analysis to me when I asked questions of some of the players I may not have known as much as they have. The draft, in some respects, is something you have no control over as far as how the picks go. You have to guess a little bit with respect to where they might fall, but we were fortunate the players we were able to acquire in the draft we have good thoughts on.
Like Scheifele on Friday, the players drafted on Saturday all seem keen to be heading to Winnipeg and the frenzy that will be the return of the NHL to the city this fall.
"It was a long day yesterday sitting for four hours, but this is a great experience," said Serville. "The last time I checked the clock (prior to going to sleep late Friday-early Saturday) it was 1:30-2 so it took me awhile to fall asleep. It’s awesome to be picked by Winnipeg. I think there were more Winnipeg fans here than Minnesota fans. The fact that they sold 13,000 tickets in two minutes... that’s awesome."
THE NEWEST JETS
-Mark Scheifele, C, selected 7th overall.
-Adam Lowry, LW, selected 67th overall.
-Brennan Serville, D, selected 78th overall.
-Zachary Yuen, D, selected 119th overall.
-Austen Brassard, RW, selected 149th overall.
-Jason Kasdorf, G, selected 157th overall
-Aaron Harstad, D, selected 187th overall.