With Colin Jacobs recently wrapping up a really successful road-trip through the East Division, Colin Jacobs is in a great position with a rapidly rising ranking and NHL Scouting really start to take him very seriously as he continues to go through the WHL Season with the Seattle Thunderbirds and getting ready for the 2011 NHL Draft that will take place next summer in the Twin Cities.
On the East Division Road Trip that just finished where they played 6 games in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. He was a big time producer where he had 2 goals and almost had a hat trick against the Regina Pats while he also had 3 point night against the Prince Albert Raiders.
For the season, he's already approaching his total from last season of 26 points (13G 13A), so far this season he is nearly a point a game player by scoring 18 points (8G 10A) in 19 games played so far this season.
One of his best moments took place back on November 2 when he scored an amazing backhanded goal against the Red Deer Rebels as the Thunderbirds beat a Red Deer Rebels Team which includes Ryan-Nugent Hopkins who's expected to be a major contender for the #1 overall pick at the NHL Draft next summer in Minnesota.
As the first NHL Central Scouting Rankings of the season are about to come out, he's expected to be one of the fastest risers from the Western Hockey League and right now many experts are expecting him to be an early-to-mid 2nd Round Pick with a strong chance to move up to the first round later in the season when the Mid-Season Rankings come out in January and the End-of-Season Rankings coming up in April.
Look for Jacobs to continue to get bigger-and-better as he goes through his Junior Career in Seattle with hopes of making his NHL Debut very very soon and looks to join the ranks of Austin Smith, Chris Brown and Matt Donovan of Southwest NHL Draft Picks.
When the 1st Draft Ranks come out, I will provide links and tell you how he's ranked both among the WHL and North American Skaters combined.
As for the Total Rankings, NHL Central Scouting divides into four parts. First it's the North American Skaters, then the North American Goaltenders, then the European Skaters for the players that are based in Europe. So somebody who is a European playing in North America like Nino Niederreiter from Switzerland
wouldn't be on that list. Finally the European Goaltenders which has the smallest of the four groups.
He would be the 4th Southwest Player to be taken in the NHL Draft joining Austin Smith, Chris Brown and Matt Donovan.
Of the three, Chris Brown was the highest of the draft picks he was selected in the 2nd Round (36th overall) from the USNTDP by the Phoenix Coyotes back in 2009. He's currently playing in his sophomore season at the University of Michigan and is a contender to possibly make Team USA for the 2011 World Junior Championships which starts on December 26 in Buffalo, New York.
Donovan was a 4th Round Selection (96th Overall) in the 2008 Draft from the Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL). Since then he helped the USA won Gold at last year's World Junior Championship in Saskatchewan and is now a sophomore at the University of Denver.
In addition to the World Junior Championship last season, he also produced 21 points in 36 games and was also named to the WCHA All Freshman Team
Austin Smith was a 5th Round Draft Pick (128th overall), now a junior at Colgate University (ECAC) he has been nearly a point a game player throughout his college career. Coming into this season, he had produced 72 points in 73 career games and is becoming more comfortable with his hitting ability while at Colgate and has always been a go to guy on the team.
Before he joined Colgate in 2008, he helped the Pentiction Vees win the 2008 BCHL Championship as he lead the team in goals that season with 32 and also had a playoffs that year when he scored 11 goals in the playoffs that year as the Vees were looking posied to have a shot at the 2008 RBC National Championship, but they hopes were dashed by the AJHL Champion Camrose Kodiaks that season in the Canadian Jr. A Pacific Region Championship.
In a Q&A I had when the season started, he told me that he felt close to making his professional debut (possibly with the Texas Stars [AHL]) and despite a dissappointing start by the team as the Raiders currently sit last in the ECAC, he's been off to another decent start by having 6 points in 8 games so far this season.
However, Colin Jacobs is looking to do something that no one from the Southwest has been able to do yet and that is crack the first Round of the Draft and that would make a bold statement about how far Southwest Hockey has come and would greatly improve his chances of making his NHL Debut in a much faster time frame, possibly before his Junior Eglibility were to run out in the next two seasons when were to reach his 20 year old season which would be in the 2012-2013 season.
If he were to be sent back to get more development past his NHL Draft Selection. It would half to be to the Seattle Thunderbirds and not the AHL Affliate of the team that drafted him because of a rule where Canadian Hockey League Players can't go into the AHL till they reach their 20th birthday. If he were in the NCAA like Smith, Brown and Donovan currently are, then the AHL Would be a possibility right now.
Seattle Thunderbirds Website
Western Hockey League Website
Colin Jacobs WHL Profile
Austin Smith Colgate Profile
Chris Brown Michigan Profile
Matt Donovan Denver Profile
Here's some parts of the Colin Jacobs Feature on the NHL Website.
"You can't teach that competitiveness and stuff and he had that instinctively. There's things he has to learn, but also those basic things that come with being a talented athlete, and a tough competitive kid. That's a good combination."
"He's a much stronger man this year so he wins every puck he goes after down low," Thunderbirds GM Russ Farewell told http://www.nhl.com/. That's what scouts like when they're watching. His vision is real good, he plays the point on the power play, he moves the puck around, he's got a real good shot. He's just learning when he can get it through. He's scoring with that consistently.
It's something he needed coming from the small pond of Dallas Midget Hockey to the Ocean Sized Western Hockey League (WHL).
"The Talent level isn't that big in Texas," Jacobs said. "It's getting there, but it's not like it is in the Canadian Towns. It was a big jump. Playing a few games as a 15 year old (in 2008-09) helped, I got my feet wet. It was a pretty big change going from playing 16 year olds to playing 20 year old men trying to make the National Hockey League."
A big part of that future was moving to Seattle. Jacobs said it wasn't an easy decision, but he picked the WHL over the NCAA and the US National Team Developmental Program for a pretty simple reason.
"I looked and saw there was quite a few more guys going to the NHL through the Canadian Hockey Leagues," he said. "At the time I thought the Western Hockey League was producing a bit. My goal is to make the National Hockey League and that's what I choose."
Here's the Full Colin Jacobs Article on the NHL Website
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