The Winnipeg Jets had three prospects playing in the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship tournament. This is the same amount as last year – a far cry from the six they had in 2015, which was the most of any NHL club. Nonetheless, the three of them had respectable performances, with two helping bring home a gold medal for the USA. Here is the Winnipeg Jets World Juniors report card.
Winnipeg Jets World Juniors Report Card
Michael Spacek, RW, Czech Republic
Michael Spacek finished his World Junior showing with a goal and two assists in five games. His lone goal was a nifty snipe to defeat Finland, the tournament’s defending champions.
— Shayne Pasquino (@shaynepasquino) December 27, 2016
The coaches selected Spacek as a top-three player on the Czech squad along with David Kase and Filip Hronek. This is a repeat honor for Spacek, having been named a top player at last year’s tournament as well.
Spacek was seventh in WHL scoring with 42 points in 30 games before leaving to represent the Czech Republic. He’ll rejoin a middling Red Deer Rebels team looking to solidify their spot in the WHL playoff picture.
Final Grade: B+
Jack Roslovic, C, United States
Jack Roslovic was the third-line centre on a gold-medal-winning United States team. He tallied two helpers during the seven-game run.
A notable tournament moment for Roslovic features him flashing some incredible hand-eye coordination while carrying the puck and splitting the Russian defense.
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) January 4, 2017
Having a deep forward lineup with skillful players such as Roslovic in third and fourth-line roles played an integral role the United States leaving the tournament victorious.
Roslovic will return to the AHL where he leads the Manitoba Moose in points with 19. It’s been a strong showing for Roslovic, who is on pace for a 58-point AHL season. He’s well on his way to having one of the best AHL seasons ever by a 19-year-old. Only five players have put up more than 58 points at his age. One can only imagine that Kyle Connor‘s recent re-assignment will help him keep on with his pace.
Roslovic could very well find himself centering the Jets third line next season.
Final Grade: B+
Erik Foley, LW, United States
Erik Foley bounced around from fourth and third-line wing throughout the tournament. Though he is used to playing top-six minutes, this was a good glimpse of what he could look like in a bottom-six NHL role.
He had a primary assist on Troy Terry‘s game-winning goal against Russia in the preliminary round. This helped end an extensive drought for the States, who hadn’t beaten Russia in the World Juniors since 2007.
Troy Terry redirects an Erik Foley pass to make it 3-1 USA over Russia pic.twitter.com/YWb0PnKJ6Q
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) December 29, 2016
This was Foley’s only point.
He had his fair share of lazy and unnecessary penalties. Hopefully this is something he minimizes if and when he cracks the Jets lineup in the next few years. If he doesn’t he will fit right in a Jets group who have the second-most minor penalties.
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) December 29, 2016
Foley will continue his sophomore campaign at Providence College. He is second in team scoring with 15 points in 16 games. He is also a top-25 player in Hockey East points per game.
Despite his 5’11” frame, he possesses traditional bottom-line checking-role traits with some offensive upside. His hybrid style of play will gladly be welcomed into the Jets lineup if it elevates to its full potential.
Final Grade: C+