Top-10 Winnipeg Jets Prospects

Heading into the 2023-24 season, the Winnipeg Jets have quite an excellent showcase of prospects. While the Winnipeg Jets are looking to have a new identity on the ice and in the locker room, here are their top-10 prospects that you will most likely see in the navy blue and white really soon.

1. Brad Lambert (Forward)

Brad Lambert has the most upside out of every prospect the Winnipeg Jets currently have in their system. He’s shown character and willingness to adapt to the situation presented to him. Brad Lambert came from Finland’s hockey system to North America’s hockey system this past season, and he looked like he was made for the WHL. Lambert’s 17 goals and 21 assists for 38 points in 26 games with the Seattle Thunderbirds were outstanding and more than what everyone expected. Lambert didn’t take his foot off the gas, scoring six goals and 20 assists for 26 points in 17 games during the Seattle Thunderbirds Ed Chynoweth WHL Championship run. Lambert was also a huge part of the Thunderbirds Memorial Cup Championship win this year. If he can make the same impact at the NHL level, Brad Lambert will be a steal for a 30th overall draft selection.

2. Colby Barlow (Forward)

Colby Barlow was selected 18th overall in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets. When Barlow was drafted, the media was saying that Barlow could be the future captain of the Winnipeg Jets. Considered to be a naturally born leader, Colby Barlow could be one of the best draft picks in Winnipeg Jets franchise history if he hits his potential.

3. Rutger McGroarty (Forward)

Rutger McGroarty was drafted the same year as Brad Lambert, the 2022 NHL Entry Draft had some hidden gems, and Rutger McGroarty might be one of them. McGroarty has shown the potential to be a solid middle-six player and leader who can develop into a top-line forward, given the right opportunities. For a 14th overall draft selection, Rutgery McGroarty has shown promising signs to be a huge star in the NHL, though it’s up to him to continue the development.

4. Thomas Milic (Goaltender)

Thomas Milic went undrafted twice and finally heard his name be called the third time he entered the NHL Entry Draft. After two monstrous seasons with the Seattle Thunderbirds, it was about time that someone took a chance on the 20-year-old goaltender. Milic won the goaltender of the year in the WHL and playoff MVP after winning the Ed Chynoweth Cup with the Seattle Thunderbirds. Milic was also a crucial piece to Seattle winning the 2023 Memorial Cup and has shown what patience in player development can do to benefit a team and a player.

5. Chaz Lucius (Forward)

Chaz Lucius didn’t play a lot of games throughout the entirety of the 2022-23 season. He played 12 games for the Manitoba Moose in the AHL, six games for the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL, and seven games for Team USA in the World Junior Championship U20 tournament. Lucius never looked out of place, regardless of sample size. Lucius was always bringing the highest competitive level that he possibly could, and it will benefit the Winnipeg Jets in the long term.

6. Nikita Chibrikov (Forward)

Nikita Chibrikov is a second-round draft pick that could become a steal of a draft pick if he develops into what he is touted to become. The Russian-born prospect is a solid defensive winger and can shift the play into his team’s favor in a heartbeat. Nikita Chibrikov could become of the best draft picks in Winnipeg Jets franchise history when he eventually gets a shot at the NHL level.

7. Ville Heinola (Defenseman)

Ville Heinola was drafted 20th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Heinola is a strong defensive defenseman who also plays a solid offensive game when needed. Heinola split his 2022-23 season between the Manitoba Moose (48 games) and the Winnipeg Jets (10 games). Heinola has played 35 career NHL games scoring one goal and 10 assists for 11 points total. There is still significant upside to Ville Heinola, though it is up to him as a professional hockey player to continue his development path.

8. Declan Chisholm (Defenseman)

Declan Chisholm is one of those prospects that are underappreciated by the franchise they play for. Chisholm is a restricted free agent currently for the Winnipeg Jets, who received a qualifying offer, there has been no word on updates between negotiations. In Chisholm’s most recent season, he posted five goals and 38 assists for 43 points in 59 games for the Manitoba Moose. Like many other prospects in the Winnipeg Jets system, Chisholm could thrive in any other franchise system. Johnathan Kovacevic thrived after being claimed via waivers by the Montreal Canadiens. The same story could easily ring true for Chisholm if the opportunity presents itself for the Bowmanville, Ontario native’s young career.

9. Elias Salomonsson (Defenseman)

Elias Salomonsson is definitely one of the least talked about prospects in Winnipeg’s system right now. The Swedish-born defenseman is still young in his career, but the Jets took a gamble when they drafted Salomonsson at 55th overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Salomonsson has developed consistently over in Sweden once he makes his transition to North America. Salomonsson could be dominant in the AHL and a bottom-four NHL defenseman if he continues to develop. However, the logjam that the Winnipeg Jets have at defense could make Salomonsson not want to sign with the Winnipeg Jets.

10. Simon Lundmark (Defenseman)

Simon Lundmark was selected 51st overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets. Lundmark has a lot in his favor, he’s a big right-shot defenseman who plays the right side. Lundmark, who’s listed at 6-foot-2 and 201 pounds, transitioned to the Manitoba Moose during the 2021-22 season. Lundmark became a solid middle-six defenseman for the Moose and could get a look in the NHL, given the opportunity presents itself for Lundmark.

Honorable Mentions

  • Rasmus Kupari (Forward)
  • Dmitri Kuzmin (Defenseman)
  • Dominic DiVincentiis (Goaltender)
  • Tyrel Bauer (Defenseman)
  • Henri Nikkanen (Forward)
  • Danil Zhilkin (Forward)

Which of these prospects do you see becoming full-time NHL players soon?

The Connor Bedard Tour Begins (20) Jacko Media

Thank you for listening to today's episode of the Jacko Media podcast presented by the Inside The Rink Podcast Network!In this episode, host Conrad Jack talks about:- How about those Jets? (2:29)- The NHL goes down under for the Global Series. (15:00)- Atlantic division standing predictions. (18:18)- Metropolitan division standing predictions. (26:14)- Central division standing predictions. (31:01)- Pacific division standing predictions. (34:58)- Season predictions. (36:40)- Various news pieces. (47:43)This episode includes music from The Janzen Boys and their song called "One For The Road." Show them support on streaming any available streaming platforms.If you want to submit a question to the show, you can follow me on X/Twitter and reply to a post.
  1. The Connor Bedard Tour Begins (20)
  2. The NHL Has International Competition Return Plans (19)
  3. The Leafs New Identity & Lack Of Teeth (18)
  4. Rempart My Heart (17)
  5. Coun-Treliving (16)

Conrad Jack

Conrad Jack is a lifelong hockey fan who is now actively writing for Inside The Rink covering primarily the Winnipeg Jets and the entire NHL second. He also covers the latest NHL News & Rumors, the NHL Entry Draft, and so much more for Inside The Rink.

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