The Winnipeg Jets are gearing up for an exciting 2023-24 season, and their prospect pool is loaded with potential.
Here are the top five prospects to keep an eye on as the Jets take flight:
#5. Nikita Chibrikov
Nikita Chibrikov takes the fifth spot on our list. The 20-year-old playmaking winger gained valuable experience playing in the KHL with Spartak Moskva. Despite limited NHL action, his nine-game stint with MHK Spartak Moskva showed promise, where he tallied five goals and nine assists.
Chibrikov's performance in the playoffs with 10 points in seven games highlights his offensive upside, making him an intriguing prospect for the Jets.
#4. Brad Lambert
Brad Lambert, slotted at number four, has shown versatility and adaptability in his game. Playing as a center, his natural position, Lambert has excelled both defensively and in puck-carrying situations. The experience gained at center is invaluable, especially with the Winnipeg Jets emphasizing center depth.
#3. Colby Barlow
At number three, Colby Barlow stands out as a power forward with NHL-ready attributes. The 18-year-old captain of the OHL's Owen Sound Attack put up an impressive 79 points in 59 games during the previous season.
Barlow's mature and physically dominant style of play makes him a prospect to watch closely as he continues to develop.
#2. Rutger McGroarty
Rutger McGroarty secures the second spot on our list after an outstanding rookie season with the University of Michigan. Following his tenure with the U.S. National Development Team, where he served as captain, McGroarty continued to shine as a point-per-game player.
His 39 points in 39 games, including 18 goals and 21 assists, demonstrate his offensive prowess.
#1. Cole Perfetti
Topping our list is Cole Perfetti, a 21-year-old forward selected No. 10 in 2020. With 69 NHL games under his belt, Perfetti already boasts valuable experience at the highest level. In his most recent season, he thrived in a top-six role, notching 30 points, including eight goals and 22 assists.
While injuries limited his availability, Perfetti showed immense promise with his increased responsibilities. His development remains a priority for the Winnipeg Jets, and fans eagerly anticipate his return to full health.
The Winnipeg Jets' prospect pipeline is filled with exciting talent, from Nikita Chibrikov's offensive flair to Brad Lambert's versatility and Colby Barlow's NHL-ready physicality.
Rutger McGroarty's impressive debut in the NCAA and Cole Perfetti's experience at the NHL level add depth and potential to the Jets' future success. As these prospects continue to evolve, the Jets' roster is set to become even more formidable in the seasons to come.