The 2020 NHL Draft will be October 6 & 7, conducted remotely. The Calgary Flames have a first round selection and will pick 19th overall. In advance of the draft, we’ll be looking at some contenders to be selected at 19th.
Next up on our rundown? Perhaps the ideal first round pick for the Flames, if he can somehow fall to them, Portland’s Seth Jarvis.
Originally from Winnipeg, Jarvis is a right shot forward who primarily plays center but can also fill in on the wing. He’s not a huge kid at 5’10” and 175 pounds, but his average frame is camouflaged by the fact that he’s whip-smart, effective in all three zones, and very savvy at finding the quiet areas of the ice to create offense.
I did color for Sportsnet 960 The Fan’s Hitmen/Winterhawks game in early October and Jarvis was superb. He had seven shots, a goal and an assist, and was one of the bright spots for a Portland team that was generally over-matched. And it wasn’t like he barrelled his way into the Calgary zone and was one-and-done; he was strong enough to generate sustained pressure and good looks for his linemates by virtue of effective puck management and wearing the defense down.
A lot of scouts really loved Jarvis’ season. Dobber’s Cam Robinson provided this assessment:
Jarvis wrapped up as the top WHL draft-eligible producer with an impressive 42 goals and 98 points in 54 contests for Portland. He simply refuses to be denied access to the inner portion of the offensive zone. His penchant for clicking at a high conversion rate blends well with this style. Jarvis mixes good speed with a fearless and skillful approach. He was an explosive player on one of the top CHL clubs and will look to replicate and increase that level of performance next season – likely with a spot on the Canadian National Team at the WJC.
Steve Kournianos of the Draft Analyst also was complimentary towards Jarvis:
A slick and cerebral forward with excellent hands, Jarvis has all the tools required to be a dominant player in major junior. He can dish the puck with flair but also play the role of a sniper thanks to an excellent shot and release. Jarvis keeps his feet moving at all times and tracks the puck like a hawk, and when he takes control of it, he’ll button-hook or curl to change the plane of attack and improve his angle. Compounding issues for defenders is his strong balance, as Jarvis darts inside with consistency and doesn’t seem deterred by traffic or a potential double team. He also provides his coaching staff with the necessary intangibles to contribute in other areas such as special teams, and he communicates well with his linemates while trying to execute set plays.
In short, Jarvis is what the Flames probably dream about. He’s a right shot. He can play all over the place. He’s talented. He’s smart. He can play in all three zones. He’s not small – the Flames have oodles of skilled players that aren’t big, so an averaged-sized one would be a godsend.
Jarvis was second in the WHL in points with 98, trailing only Spokane’s Adam Beckman. He was third in goals with 42, behind Beckman and Kamloops’ Orrin Centazzo.
The exciting thing about Jarvis is how much his production was skewed towards even strength. Of his 98 points, 68 were even strength. Of his 42 goals, 32 were even strength. For comparison’s sake, Kamloops’ Connor Zary is the next 2020 top prospect in WHL scoring. He had 86 points, 44 at even strength, and 38 goals, 20 at even strength.
If Portland drew more penalties, Jarvis probably would’ve led the WHL in scoring. The Winterhawks had the fourth-ranked PP in the Dub at 23.9% conversion, but they had the 10th-most PPs in the league.
Availability and fit
Jarvis would fit the Flames’ needs like a glove. A right shot forward who can drive play and contribute in all three zones? Sign ’em up.
Availability is a bit iffier, unfortunately. Hockey Prospects has him 7th, FC Hockey 11th, McKeen’s 12th, Dobber Prospects 14th and Bob McKenzie 18th. Craig Button has him 23rd and ISS 29th. He would need to slide on draft day to land with the Flames, which probably won’t happen given his superb draft year.