Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jets Picks Show Bright Future For Team Canada

Luke Sutter, chosen 39th overall in 2012, added some sandpaper for Team Canada this summer.
(Photo Courtesy winnipegjets.com)

If there is one thing a hockey franchise wants to see is, it would be how draft picks are making an impact on the ice elsewhere.

Mark Scheifele and Luke Sutter both made a big impact during the now finished Canada-Russia Challenge over the last week.

Scheifele, who wore an alternate captain's "A" during the four games, had four assists in the tournament despite being tossed in the second game for a supposed knee-on-knee hit early in the game.

When it mattered the most, Scheifele had three assists in the final game on the team's last three goals, including setting up Ty Rattie's two second period goals and Jonathan Huberdeau's insurance goal in the third period.

Sutter, who had an assist in Canada's 6-3 loss in Game Two, played a diminished role than Scheifele but was valuable on a third/fourth line role.

Other than their roles on the team, both performances have shown the Jets they made a wise choice.

Mark Scheifele had four assists in the Canada-Russia Challenge
(Photo Courtesy Yahoo! Sports)
Although Scheifele is seen as the big pick for the Jets and will be trying to crack the Jets opening day roster this season again for more than seven games, Sutter was more of a surprise in the second round, 39th overall.

Sutter, who had 59 points (28 goals, 31 assists) in 70 games in his second full season with the Saskatoon Blades last season, has seen his stock rise slowly as has Scheifele's last season.

However, the newest 6'0, 199 lb Sutter to be drafted into the NHL has a bit more of grit than the Jets top pick in 2011.

With 344 penalty minutes in 141 games in two seasons with Saskatoon, the Jets went with more grit this season to be able to make sure they remain big and strong up front.

If hockey may not be coming back this fall, Jets fans will at least be able to see Scheifele and Sutter once again closer to Christmas with World Juniors and see their future is bright.

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