Trades help Jets load up on character

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:26 AM ET

ST. PAUL, MINN. - On the second day of the NHL Entry Draft, Kevin Cheveldayoff completed his first trade.

It wasn’t a blockbuster and didn’t include any players, but it was another check mark on the list of things to do to get the Winnipeg Jets ready for action this fall.

The Jets began the day with seven picks, but twice packaged a pair of picks to move up in the third and fifth rounds.

After Mark Scheifele went seventh overall on Friday, left-winger Adam Lowry of the Swift Current Broncos, defenceman Brennan Serville of the Stoufville Spirit, Zachary Yuen of the Tri-City Americans, Austen Brassard of the Belleville Bulls, Jason Kasdorf of the MJHL’s Portage Terriers and Aaron Harstad of the Green Bay Gamblers joined the Jets’ 2011 draft class Saturday.

“Our list was very comprehensive and complete,” said Cheveldayoff, noting he tried to pull off a deal to get into the second round as well. “Things fell pretty much the way we thought they would in a lot of instances. If you look at the positions we drafted, we drafted a full complement of forwards, defence and a goaltender. Guys at different levels of their development.”

So is Lowry, the son of longtime NHLer Dave Lowry, a chip off the old block?

“To a certain degree, he is,” said Jets director of hockey operations Craig Heisinger. “Dave was a real good, hard-nosed player with lots of character and as I said earlier, character is a prerequisite going forward here and he brings a lot of that.”

The younger Lowry was watching the draft on the NHL network at home in Calgary when the Jets chose him in the third round.

“We were watching on the NHL Network and they were doing an interview with (third overall pick Jonathan) Huberdeau, so unfortunately I didn’t get to see my name called but my phone was ringing and it was my agent,” said Lowry. “My grandma saw my name go across the bottom (of the ticker) and saw it was Winnipeg. We were pretty ecstatic and it was a special moment for me and my family.

“In Winnipeg, they’re really excited to have the team back and it will be a great organization to be part of.”

Later in the round, the Jets selected Serville with the pick they acquired from the Montreal Canadiens for the 97th and 108th picks.

“In today’s game, with the way he skates and the way he moves, along with his size, he’s a very interesting prospect,” said Cheveldayoff.

Serville has a little experience with friendly Manitoba as he played in the CJHL Top Prospects game this year in Dauphin.

“This is awesome, I couldn’t be happier,” said Serville, who will attend the University of Michigan this fall. “There were probably more (Jets) fans here than Minnesota fans.”

To move up in the fourth round to draft Yuen at 119, the Jets shipped the 133rd and 194th overall picks to the San Jose Sharks.

Kasdorf (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) and Harstad (Colorado College) are also headed to the NCAA this fall.

A quick glance at the numbers suggests the Jets put a lot of stock into size as each of the six players selected are 6-feet or taller, but Heisinger said that was not by design.

“If size was a part of it that was more coincidence — character and hockey sense are first and foremost for us,” said Heisinger, who was then asked if he was happy with the way things unfolded. “Every team left with the same opinion today. In three years, we’ll probably know.”


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