The Winnipeg Jets went a bit off the board with the 25th overall pick of the first round on Friday, selecting American forward Jack Roslovic.
Roslovic was widely projected to go in Round 2, but the Jets stuck to their draft board instead.
Here’s everything you need to know about Roslovic:
Name: Jack Roslovic
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio
Current Team: U.S. National Under-18 Team
Weight: 182 pounds
NHL Central Scouting Rank (North American): 39th
Roslovic was the first-ever Columbus-born player to be selected in the opening round of an NHL Draft.
“It means a ton to me,” Roslovic told The Columbus Dispatch on Friday. “Being a trailblazer, it’s something I want to bring back to the city and show kids in Columbus that maybe you don’t need a big hockey market to succeed. It’s just about your work and what you put into it.”
He grew up idolizing former Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash, who he studied frequently as his family owned season tickets to the watch the NHL club.
The 18-year-old centre is going to stay in-state in 2015-16, slated to play next season for the Miami University RedHawks as a freshman. Oxford is about two hours from where he grew up in Columbus.
One of Roslovic’s best attributes is his offensive ability. He is a solid skater with an explosive first step and is able to skate through the zone with speed and puck protection.
He ranked fourth on the U.S. Under-18 team with 25 goals and 52 assists this past season, playing alongside highly-touted prospect Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk, the son of former NHLer Keith Tkachuk who will play for the London Knights in 2015-16.
The trio is known as the “Superman Line”, inspired by the celebration dance of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
Roslovic’s energy and passion on the ice stood out to scouts as he jumped from No. 52 in the Central Scouting mid-season rankings all the way up to No. 39.
The Jets plan to be patient with Roslovic, who still needs to get stronger and add muscle to his body. The tools are in place for him to develop into a top-three line player at the NHL level.
Random tidbits (via NHL.com)
NHL player: Alex Ovechkin
Video game: Call of Duty
Movie: The Wolf of Wall Street
TV show: Breaking Bad
Actor: Blake Lively, Robert Downey Jr. (WHAT?!)
Athlete (non-hockey): LeBron James