The Winnipeg Jets figure to be one of the least active teams on the second day of the NHL entry draft, with selections in just the second, third and fifth rounds. Barring any trades of course.
Their status is a result of previous transactions with Vegas, Vancouver and Florida for Paul Stastny, Jordie Benn and Bogdan Kiselevich respectively.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff began the day by selecting Russian right-winger Nikita Chibrikov with the 50th overall pick in the second round. It’s only the third time since the franchise relocated from Atlanta in 2011 that Winnipeg has taken a Russian player.
The Jets selected Center Pavel Kraskovsky in the sixth round in 2014 but he never came to North America, choosing instead to continue playing for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL. Two years later in 2016, Winnipeg opted for goalie Mikhail Berdin of Team Russia U-18 with their sixth round pick. Berdin has been a standout with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL for the past three seasons.
Chibrikov is a five-foot-ten, 170-pound forward who scored one goal and had one assist in 16 games with St. Petersburg SKA of the KHL this past season.
During Friday’s first round, Winnipeg took 18-year-old center Chaz Lucius with what was officially the 18th overall pick in the draft. The six-foot-one, 185-pound center was actually the 17th player selected because Arizona had to forfeit the 11th choice. That was a result of a previous ruling by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman following an investigation into the Coyotes working out prospects prior to the 2020 draft which is a rules violation.
Lucius scored 13 goals and added five assists for 18 points in 12 USHL games for the U.S. national development team this past season. He had knee surgery in August that kept him off the ice until early in 2021. Then he had to miss the World U18 tournament in Dallas in late April because of a fever and quarantine protocols.
Lucius is committed to playing in his home state for the University of Minnesota Gophers this coming NCAA season.
Winnipegger Carson Lambos was the 25th player selected (26th overall) on the night, as the Minnesota Wild took the six-foot-one, 197-pound defenseman from the WHL Winnipeg Ice with the second pick of the first round.
Lambos was projected to go higher in the draft but missed most of the WHL’s pandemic-shortened season because of a medical procedure. He played just four games in total this past season: two for JyP HT in the Finnish League and two for Winnipeg in the WHL’s Regina Hub.
More to come…
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