2023 FlamesNation prospect rankings: #16 Jaden Lipinski
Photo credit:James Doyle/WHL
28 days ago
As the middle portion of the draft hits, you hope the team you cheer for takes some swings on a few guys that may not be standing a full head above the crowd but are at least noticeable. Jaden Lipinski isn’t the flashiest name that was drafted – yet within all the viewings of top prospect Samuel Honzek playing for the Vancouver Giants someone saw something they liked enough to draft Lipinski – 112th overall in the fourth round of the 2023 entry draft.
Lipinski checks in at 16th on this year’s FlamesNation prospect rankings.
Born December 2, 2004 (18 years old) in Scottsdale, Arizona
6’4″, 209 lbs
Drafted in the fourth round (112th overall) by Calgary in 2023
He’s a right shot center that saw his production spike from 17 points to 51, good enough for third on his team behind Ty Thorpe and the aforementioned Honzek. To start the season Zach Ostapchuk (39th overall, 2021, Ottawa) was on the team as well pushing Lipinski down to playing less minutes, he was eventually traded away after 21 games. Throw in the Honzek injury and a lot of the top guys around Lipinski were pretty slim making it harder to produce.
For those guys that aren’t Connor Bedard having other guys playing soundly around you is a huge boost – having that at 19 years old while you ramp up your game with professional training even more-so. Lipinski this coming season should be the top-line centre option feeding Honzek the puck. There doesn’t appear to be too many reinforcements outside of Honzek to help, but the sheer number of minutes that will be presented to him are great for potential growth.
Hailing from Scottsdale, Arizona, Lipinski played for the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes AAA teams before moving on to Vancouver. He went undrafted in the WHL Bantam Draft and was recruited by the Giants based on what they saw in him – two years later he was an NHL draft pick. He’s listed as 6’4” in height with a 209 lbs weigh-in. Built similarly to current Flames young player Adam Ružička, although he holds his stick right-handed.
So there’s some more information on the recent fourth-round pick in terms of history – as for his play style let’s hear from friend of the site Derek Neumeier from McKeen’s:
Lipinski is a big, strong center who can be a lot for opposing defenders to handle and contain. His ability to protect the puck down low in the offensive cycle and drive it to the net is quite impressive. His overall game isn’t pretty, but he can grind his way to success at the WHL level, and can do so while lining up down the middle. The big questions with Lipinski come down to his speed and quickness. His boots are very heavy and he lacks fluid footwork, and unless he can work on those weaknesses they alone might keep him from having an NHL career.
It’s not going to be an easy road for Lipinski. He’s not surrounded with a bunch of properly aged talent (or skilled enough outside Honzek) to help him elevate his game and learn at a rapid pace. The positive outlook is to see that he’s taken large leaps the last two years to go from undrafted into junior to a fourth-round NHL pick, the work doesn’t get easier but maybe he has what it takes to pull off becoming a third line NHL center.
Expectations for 2023-24
I do expect Lipinski to take a stride forward playing top line minutes with a talent like Honzek at his side. Vancouver most likely wont be in a push for the memorial cup so acquiring pieces to play ahead of him on the depth chart is unlikely. Him getting to a 25-45-70 statline (G-A-Pts) in around 60-66 games would show he’s improving at a projectable rate, less than that and we’re already talking about a young guy stalling out. He’ll have every opportunity- it’s his to grab.
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