WINNIPEG - On the second day of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Winnipeg Jets added depth in goal and again loaded up on character.
After choosing Saskatoon Blades centre Lukas Sutter in the second round, they went with Guelph Storm right-winger Scott Kosmachuk in the third round, 70th overall.
“It’s awesome, words can’t describe it right now. I’m really excited,” said Kosmachuk. “I’m a hard-working, competitive, gritty winger. I like to play in the offensive zone, work the puck on the cycle, take that puck to the net and score some goals.”
Kosmachuk had 30 goals and 59 points and 110 penalty minutes in 67 games from the Storm last season.
“We’re real excited to get a player that has a good combination of skill, but is a great character player as well,” said Jets gneeral manager Kevin Cheveldayoff. “We see tremendous upside in his game.”
The Jets also drafted a pair of tall goalies who are bound for the NCAA this fall in Connor Hellebuyck and Jamie Phillips.
Hellebuyck played for the Odessa Jackalopes of the North American Hockey League and will join the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, while Phillips played for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens and is going to play at Michigan Tech.
“They gave us some depth within the organization from a goaLtending perspective,” said Cheveldayoff, who also drafted NCAA-bound goalie Jason Kasdorf last season.
The Jets also picked forward Ryan Olsen, who also played for the Blades.
“(Olsen) had a really, really good second half, really started to come on,” said Cheveldayoff. “He’s a 6-foot-3, two-way centreman and our scouts really liked his progression from the beginning until the end (of the season).”
Although it’s probably too small a sample size to draw any conclusions, the Jets have yet to draft a European-born player with any of their 13 picks in 2011 and 2012.
The 2013 NHL Entry Draft will be hosted by the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.