Blade Jenkins lands in the 51st spot in the CanucksArmy prospect rankings for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Definitely one of the best names of this draft class, Jenkins played his draft minus one season with the UDNTDP, where he was committed to head to the University of Michigan this upcoming fall. But decided to make the switch to the OHL in his draft season.
It’s an interesting path for any American prospect as they are hoping they can speed up their development process to the NHL instead of the slower NCAA route. Jenkins had a decent rookie season in the Ontario Hockey League displaying his physical play that is complemented by a full toolbox of skills.
- Age/Birthdate:17.10/ August 11, 2000
- Birthplace: Jackson, MI, USA
- Frame:6-foot-2/ 194 lbs
- Position: Centre
- Handedness: Left
- Draft Year Team: Saginaw Spirit(OHL)
Jenkins was selected 4th overall by Saginaw in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection even though he was already committed to the University of Michigan.
He decided to make the jump to the OHL on May 5th and gave up that NCAA eligibility in the process as he felt that his career would be best served the major junior route.
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In terms of offensive numbers, Jenkins stacks up pretty well. Ideally, we’d see more shots per game but nothing that is concerning. His GFREL% shows that although being sub 50%, it was in line with the rest of the Spirit. The amount of red in the event tracker is noteworthy.
Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
From some scouting reports that I have read, it’s suggested that Jenkins started the season slowly and then took off from there. Which is true to some degree as you could see that he was still figuring out the pace of play and the level of physicality but as we can see from his 5v5 scoring rates, he was actually excelling in his offensive production based on ice time.
That concern was because he had one goal and two assists in his first dozen games and then took off from there. It’s not to say that the suggestions were wrong, as he did start slow, but over the length of a season, it wasn’t a representation of what he is as a player.
We saw a dip in his production as the season went along as he reached a point where he played the most games in a season for him and likely hit a wall physically, but trended back up during the playoffs. His p60 was good compared to his most common linemates and he generally made his linemates better in terms of GF% WOWY.
Purely from a cohort look, the move from the USHL to the OHL improved his draft stock and success rates. Although his point totals didn’t jump off the page, his 44 points provide him with a success rate of 25.3% among cohorts.
Jenkins is a raw player that has all the makings of being a power forward that can his size and speed to dictate what he wants to do offensively. He isn’t a large player but is able to push through checks when he has the puck. His board play is one of his best attributes offensively but he would be best served to be more aggressive in taking the puck to the net.
His skating isn’t flashy and has been pointed out to be an area of concern but he is able to get where he needs to go and is likely an area that will improve as he adds lower body strength and refines his technique. If that improvement doesn’t happen though, it could be what holds him back.
The Jackson MI native has a good wrist shot and decent hands that allow him to dangle and them count. He is a smart player who can distribute the puck well.
His defensive play is another area of his game that he needs to work on.
Jenkins is a player that has a raw skill set and if you only saw him early in the season, there would be concerns about how he will project in the future. His second half was much better and showed that once he was confident in himself, that he could dictate what happens on the ice and then produce.
He will need to continue that confident play to have success and then allow it to manifest in being aggressive with the puck.
The Saginaw forward is a slight risk in the sense that you are shooting for potential but there aren’t any major concerns in terms of underlying numbers and he has a full toolbox that should project him as a middle six player who can get in there and make things happen.
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Big centre-forward from the USA developmental program with a high skill set. Displays good vision and can go around defenders turning the corner to the slot area. Probably is more suited as a winger utilizing his quickness and strength on his skates. Has shown some jam down low in the scoring areas,but needs to be more competitive and aggressively go get pucks all over and on the forecheck. Looks like a future left wing as he progresses and adds intensity and defensive awareness.