It seems as though every year there’s a player whose statistical profile screams “draft this guy”. Invariably, every draft has one or two players who seem to be ranked insanely low in the mainstream rankings compared to where the numbers are saying a player ought to be selected. While I can’t speak for every CA contributor, this year, Jake Wise is undeniably that player.
Considered a hockey prodigy from a young age, Wise moved from Florida to Boston at only eight and committed to Boston University at just 14 upon the recommendation of friend and mentor Jack Eichel. Unfortunately, Wise has had some injury trouble that has kept him out of the first round on many draft boards. While it’s far from ideal for the sunshine state native, his loss is bound to be a lucky team’s gain come draft weekend. There’s some uncertainty regarding his future, but needless to say, I’m a big fan. I had Wise as a mid-first round pick on my board. In our overall rankings, he impressed enough of us to clock in at 28th overall.
- Age/Birthdate:17.55/ February 28, 2000
- Birthplace: Reading MA
- Frame:5-foot-10/ 190 lbs
- Draft Year Team: USNTDP Juniors(USHL)
SeasonAwards by season
- YOG Gold Medal
- YOG Most Assists (6)
- YOG Most Points (10)
- U18 WJC Silver Medal
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Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
One of the things I love about Wise is the emphasis he places on enjoying what he does. Per Jack Eichel’s advice, Wise has been sure to never get too low on himself and enjoy the experience of being a high-end player both on and off the ice. Eichel emphasized how difficult the first year of the NTDP can be for young players., something that Wise took to heart.
Unfortunately, Wise’s second year with the program didn’t get any easier. In his second game of the 2017-18 season, he broke his collarbone; the injury required surgery, which ran the risk of ending his season if rehabilitation didn’t go as planned. Fortunately, a combination of will and good luck allowed Wise to return in the final game of 2017, and he never looked back, finishing with his season with one of the most impressive statistical profiles in the entire NTDP.
From a purely numerical standpoint, there are a couple of things that stand out for wise. The first is his situational, era, age, and league (SEAL) adjusted scoring. While Wise appeared in only 18 USHL games, his scoring pace was good enough to land him at sixth among draft-eligible players in SEAL-adjusted scoring, just behind presumptive first overall pick Rasmus Dahlin. The second thing that stands out is Wise’s expected production via the prospect graduation probabilities system (PGPS), which puts him at an expected point rate of 69.55 pointe per 82 games, behind only boom-or-bust defenseman Adam Boqvist and the closest thing you’ll get to a guaranteed offensive contributor in Oliver Wahlstrom.
Stylistically, there’s a lot to like about the young forward’s game. while he’s small at 5-foot-10, he’s extremely thick, tipping the scales at 190 pounds. The rhetoric that usually surrounds shorter prospects would normally dictate that there would be concerns about Wise’s defensive acumen, but to his credit, he’s earned praise repeatedly for his defensive awareness and two-way play. He’s earned comparisons to Brad Marchand at times, and while he doesn’t possess the grit that’s become a staple of Marchand’s game, the comparison isn’t entirely without merit.
Offensively, Wise does a lot of things that make him stand out. He’s an exceptional playmaker who was able to help a wide variety of teammates create goals. He’s also got an incredibly sneaky wrist shot that most scouts have remarked he ought to make use of more often. Wise was able to create offence in a wide variety of contexts but looked especially dangerous setting up teammates on the power play.
There’s a reason Wise was considered a lock as a top-15 pick just a few short years ago. It’s unlikely he’d be ranked so low in the mainstream rankings if he had stayed healthy for the entirety of his draft year. As it stands now, selecting Wise comes with a fair amount of risk that ought to be considered, but looks like one of the best value picks of the draft as high as the late first or early second round.
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From Future Considerations
A smart centerman, he possesses good skating ability, with long and powerful strides that generate speed. Still, his footspeed could be improved. As it is, he is most effective when gaining speed through the neutral zone, so he can hit the blue line at top gear. He is quick to get into good places to support play. With the puck, he exhibits precision and quickness. He plays an effective offensive game. He shows great hockey sense and top-tier puck skill. He also has the ability to protect pucks, which allows him to battle in tight areas and to move the puck under pressure. His stickhandling skills are strong, especially in the offensive zone where he can dominate stretches of possession on the cycle. Accurate wrister. He uses his skating to position himself well in the defensive zone. He doesn’t engage physically as much as he could, but he’s strong on the puck and doesn’t shy away from taking punishment while in pursuit. He’s able to perform on draws. In all three zones, he has a competitor’s mentality. Defensively, he can play shutdown hockey. He can also help out a penalty-killing unit with his smarts. He’s a patient player, but one of those guys who can step up and perform when his team needs him. His IQ is high enough that he can handle centerman responsibilities even as