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NHL Prospect Profile: Jake Wise

AJ Haefele Avatar
June 5, 2018

Statistics

Scout Quotes

Wise has the potential to be a two-way, top-six centre at the NHL level. He will need some time to develop, and going the NCAA route will give him plenty of time to add muscle and strength in the weight room. He also can work to shoot a bit more and be less predictable in his game. Wise has shown the determination to work on his game and improve, as well as to have a strong draft year despite battling injury. He could be a coach’s favourite with his work ethic and two-way game. Wise’s game is reminiscent of Travis Konecny of the Philadelphia Flyers, but this is a style comparison only and not one based on ability or potential. – Last Word on Hockey

AJ’s Thoughts

Here’s a kid I really like. He has a creative and high-end offensive game. He reminds me a lot of Alex Kerfoot honestly. He’s a pass-first playmaker with great vision and creativity but despite a smaller frame he excels at puck protection. He’s a feisty puck-handler who has a stronger upper body than you’d expect but his edgework and balance on his skates needs some real work. The NCAA game will be a great fit for his game and what he needs to develop in order to be successful at the next level.

While BU is historically a safe bet to churn out quality players, the current head coaching vacancy makes it a bit of a question mark how well Wise is going to fit in with the Terriers. He has the insulation of knowing he doesn’t have to be the man because future superstar Shane Bowers is already locking down the top center spot for BU.

Playing second banana is nothing new for Wise, who had to play behind megastar Jack Hughes all year and still piled up scoring chances and cashed in on points. He’s a dynamic offensive player who I think is being severely underrated here. Without an injury taking the first half of the season away from him, he would probably be a late-first round prospect in this class.

Despite his smallish size, he’s responsible defensively and really grasps the team concept of defense. He’s a very smart player whose intelligence will be his best attribute moving forward.

Highlights

Avalanche Fit

Very, very interesting fit here. With Colorado having two picks in the second round, it seems a foregone conclusion they have to walk away with a good forward prospect. Wise could easily be available at both selections and he would be hard for the Avs to pass up once, let alone twice. His biggest downside as a fit in the Avs’ system is he’s another smaller forward with a high-skill ceiling. Copy and pasting prospects in your system is how you end up in stylistic nightmare matchups against teams that draft and develop the opposite of you.

At the same time, Colorado has proven an ability to develop this type of player and that’s not an unimportant reminder on draft day. When an organization has success with a certain type, it’s easy for it to go back to the well frequently because there’s an internal belief they can get that guy into the NHL. Given Wise’s experience behind Hughes and soon to be backing up Bowers, it would be a natural fit for him to come into Colorado and be behind at least Nathan MacKinnon. Could his offensive upside be greater than that of Bowers, making Bowers the future 3C and Wise the future 2C?

That’s getting pretty into the weeds on scenarios that are likely four years from coming to fruition but it’s still something you want to consider come draft day. The Avalanche could get away taking Wise but they would need a rock-solid plan for him moving forward. That plan would probably have to include not taking any more smallish centers for a year or two. That would be fine. Wise rocks.

Rankings

#62 McKeen’s Hockey
#63 Future Considerations

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