Another fantastic name in this years draft crop is Moose Jaw Warriors defender, Jett Woo.
The Winnipeg born defender entered this season with high expectations from the hockey community after he had a great rookie season in the WHL during the 2016-17 season. Through no fault of his own doing, Woo was unable to live up to those expectations and saw his stock slowly fall down the draft boards.
But when you look deeper at his season, there is still a lot to like about his game and his potential. With that in mind, landing in the 32nd overall spot is Jett Woo.
- Age/Birthdate: 17.14/ July 27, 2000
- Birthplace: Winnipeg, MB, CAN
- Frame:6-foot-0/ 205 lbs
- Position: Defence
- Handedness: Right
- Draft Year Team: Moose Jaw Warriors(WHL)
- WBAAA2 Champion
- Canada Winter Games Bronze Medal
- WBAAA Champion
- MMHL Champion
- YOG Silver Medal
- U17 WHC All-Star Team
- U18 WJC Top 3 Player on Team
- Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal
Woo was selected with the 4th overall pick in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft.
He represented Canada at the U18’s to close out the 2017 season and then once again at Ivan Hlinka.
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Woo stands out in terms of XLS%, shooting and SEAL but doesn’t rate well in GFREL%. As we’ve seen recently with some of these players, they post great GF% numbers but are just slightly below the remainder of his teammates and thus that GFREL% looks poorly.
His offence hit a wall in the midpoint of the season and is something we will dissect further down.
Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
Woo looks decent in terms of GF% WOWY and although low scoring rates, he does have good GF%. His ice-time skyrocketed to close out the year and into the playoffs as his role changed to close out the campaign.
Despite not blowing down the doors offensively, 30.9% of comparable players went onto becoming NHL regulars. It’s a wide range of players with a variety of roles but does present a good success rate.
Managing expectations can be tough and can sometimes create an unrealistic outlook for a player. Those expectations were exasperated by Woo’s strong start to the season that saw him post close to a point per game pace. He suffered a shoulder injury that saw him miss a month of action and upon his return, he was asked to play a different role.
It’s also worth noting that the shoulder injury plagued him throughout the remainder of the year and required some rehab time after the season was done.
The Warriors welcomed Josh Brook back to the lineup and then made a move to acquire Kale Clague. This resulted in Woo having a lesser role when he returned with most of the offensive responsibilities being afforded to the other two defenders. He was able to get a larger role to close out the season but wasn’t able to replicate the offensive production that he saw earlier in the year.
Which is a bit surprising as Woo has an interesting skill set that indicates he could be a capable offensive defenceman, albeit a conservative one. He makes good passes that he can use from a standing position in the offensive zone or in a rush situation. He is mobile with the puck but generally isn’t someone who enters the zone, instead of moving the puck to his forwards to get in there. He doesn’t have a particularly strong slapshot and is more known to get the puck through with quick snapshots or wrist shots.
I’ve found Woo’s skating to be excellent with great agility on his feet. He uses his edges effectively to move around the ice with ease and constantly keeps his head up. He possesses above average acceleration and top speed.
Mitch Brown with The Athletic has done some fantastic work with CHL tracking, and Jett Woo is below:
On the defensive side of the game, Woo is very strong in the neutral zone with the ability to break up attacks and prevent zone entries despite being targetted quite a bit by his opponents. We don’t know what games were tracked but if they were in the later part of the season, it would mean the opponents were targetting him instead of Kale Clague. Good shot rates and extremely high controlled exits as well.
The offensive side of the game leaves a bit to be desired but does align with what we saw in the later parts of the season as he left that stuff to his partner. Woo is willing to be physical as a thorn in the side defender that just doesn’t go away.
Woo doesn’t appear to be a flashy player that will make highlight reel players. His numbers over last year and the early parts of this year suggest that when given the chance, he can be productive offensively. The second part of the season, he was a bit of a victim of circumstances as he had to play a lesser or adjusted role for the betterment of his team.
Those heightened expectations make it feel like Woo had a poor season overall but in totality, his year was perfectly fine. He makes smart plays that don’t put his team in bad situations and has shown that he can fill a variety of roles. We’ll see Kale Clague graduate to the AHL next season and thus Woo will likely be asked to take on more offensive reps, and in turn, see some better numbers.
There are some flags to his overall picture but it’s also fair to think that he has enough to his game. He likely won’t be a dominant offensive defender but his three-zone game is good enough that he can fill any role that is given to him. He’s just a solid defender who could surprise people next season after being selected a little later than expected at the beginning of the year.
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From Future Considerations:
A compact all-round defender, with few weaknesses. He is an elite skater, who, with quick and explosive strides, is able to hit open ice in full flight. Excellent balance and edgework allow him to escape tight spaces with ease. Beyond mobility, Woo has the skill and poise to connect on the first pass. He is an all-situations presence, dependable rather than flashy. Assertive and occasionally nasty, he is also a detailsdefender, who uses his stick to keep attackers off balance. He can be counted on to make the right decision, swapping sides reliably with his partner. His defensive game is mature and pro-geared, including the knack of angling forwards to the boards before finishing. An intimidating player with real bite. He can handle power-play work. Heady, he reads the play and, moving his feet along the blue line, can open up lanes and expand his options – shoot, pass, create space for a teammate. Woo depends on his wrist shot and rarely cranks up the slapper, but that’s something that comes with experience. Already, he has the confidence to know when to jump up – to join the rush, to lay out somebody – and when to sit back. Woo also possesses character. A vocal and followme leader, he has the makings of a top-four defender should he be able to set aside injury issues that could hamper or slow his development.
CanucksArmy’s 2018 NHL Draft Rankings