Team: Portland Winterhawks, (WHL)
2020 Draft Prospect Ranking (Central Scouting): 11th Amongst North American Skaters
Every NHL Entry Draft sees it’s fair share of surprises, hiccups, studs, duds, and collective “eyebrow raises.” For fans, NHL teams, junior clubs, scouts, and prospects themselves, they wouldn’t have it any other way. The NHL Draft table/floor is also a place for contemplation, risk, and savvy selections. When the puck drops to begin new campaigns, whether they take place in North America, or overseas, there’s always that handful (or more) of prospects with the propensity to surprise. Seth Jarvis from the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League (WHL) is one of those prospects.
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So what is it about Jarvis that screams “surprise” (in a positive way)? Is it his hockey sense, on-ice ability, confidence, or a combination of all three? Let’s read on and find out what makes Seth Jarvis such an intriguing player and one to “keep your eye on” at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
Production Power in Portland
Jarvis is one of the most explosive players the Portland Winterhawks have seen in a long, long time. After notching 39 points in 2018-19, Jarvis had a season to remember in 2019-20. Before the halt of the WHL season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jarvis was well on his way to hitting (and eclipsing) the 100-point plateau. In fact, he finished with 98 points in just 58 games played which included 42 goals and 56 assists with a plus-53 rating to go along with a 1.69 point-per-game pace. He also scored eight game-winning goals and fired 219 pucks on net. Absolutely outstanding to say the least from a highly-gifted player. Only Adam Beckman of the Spokane Chiefs outdid the brilliance of Jarvis this season.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba native “wowed” crowds all season long from across the WHL with his skill, offensive flair, and ability to score goals. Jarvis was a threat on every shift and a major talking point all season long in “the Dub”. Pro scouts had their eyes on him from an early age, and now the National Hockey League has been put on notice. I mean, how could they not after such an impressive campaign? How’s that for your draft year?
What the Scouts See
In short, a lot! A shoo-in to be selected in the first round, Jarvis’ stellar campaign has seen his draft stock continue to rise. As a player, Jarvis is a dynamic offensive threat who loves to score goals and drive the net. He is hard-working, passionate, combative, and plays bigger than his 5’10 frame would suggest. The more people see him, the more they adore his unique style of play. Jarvis plays with a lot of confidence and loves to be a difference-maker each and every night. He has good hands, a strong release, and his distributions skills are also exceptional. Although Jarvis doesn’t have blistering pace, what he does have is excellent agility who can “wiggle” his way out of tight spaces to create avenues for himself and his teammates. Hey, 42 goals and 98 points is no fluke now is it?
The 2019-20 campaign also saw Jarvis’ game evolve which has helped him become much more well-rounded as a player. This has also helped his draft stock leading up to the draft. In addition to scoring eight goals on the power-play, Jarvis was also used on the penalty-kill in Portland. His high hockey-IQ, quick hands, and ability to anticipate plays made him a no-brainer for the Winterhawks coaching staff. You can certainly say that Jarvis has transformed into a “Jack of all trades”, but he’s also an explosive talent, capable of turning any game on its head.
The NHL and Seth Jarvis
Jarvis has all makings of a real, good player at the National Hockey League Level. He has the puck skills, stickhandling ability, and propensity to finish plays. Although his game oozes with raw potential, there are indeed some things he will need to work on moving forward in his development. For starters, Jarvis will need to improve his quickness and footspeed. NHL defenders are no slouch, and with the game transforming into a speed-first league, Jarvis would benefit from some added work on his skating. Although not a major concern, Jarvis will need to “fill out” a little bit more. Some added strength and muscle will place him in good stead in the NHL given how he stands at 5’10, 172 pounds.
With this being said, Jarvis has many strengths to his game that should project into a top-six, goal-scoring winger in “the show”. His strengths are simply too significant and widespread to ignore. Ranked 11th by NHL Central Scouting among North American skaters, I personally see Jarvis being selected between picks 16-22. However, I would not be the least surprised to see him creep into the top-12. NHL teams in need of a game-changing talent will be keeping tabs on Jarvis on the draft floor. We’ll just have to wait and see where he ends up now, won’t we?
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