With the addition of high-level play-making talent on the Devils offensive roster lately such as Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes, many have remarked it may be time to balance the talent and support those players by adding some scoring forwards. Enter, Seth Jarvis.
Who is Seth Jarvis?
The WHL’s Portland Winterhawks drafted the right-shooting Canadian in 2017 with the hopes of adding some speed and skill to their roster. It would seem they’ve more than got what they asked for: Jarvis has banked 139 points in 130 games for Portland, including an impressive 42 goals and 56 assists in just 58 games this past season. When this kid gets hot, good luck slowing him down— he put up three 5 point games in just over a month at the beginning of this year. What he lacks in size at just 5’10” and 170lbs, he make up in speed and puck movement with hands that could “stickhandle in a phone booth” (Ferrari).
Where is Seth Jarvis Ranked?
NHL Central Scouting (North Americans): 11th
Bob McKenzie: 24th
Future Considerations: 16th
Larry Fisher: 17th
Dobber Prospects: 10th
What Have the Experts Said About Jarvis?
Jarvis impresses just about everyone who watches him play, including Hockey Prophets’ Brian Fogarty— “Seth Jarvis will likely be a riser in the 2020 draft class. He plays a constant attacking style, is a lightning fast skater with tremendous agility and technique. His hands are excellent and he gets his shot and passes away quickly and accurately. He plays with intelligence and mobility and seems to be a highly competitive player. I see him as a late first rounder with good scoring upside.”
Dobber Prospects’ Tony Ferrari— “Jarvis has been one of the hottest draft-eligible prospects since the start of the new year. He has recorded three five-point games and 47 points in the 17 games since January 1st, helping power him to an impressive 81 points in 49 games. The skilled winger has been an offensive catalyst for a Portland Winterhawks squad that is leading the league in wins. He is constantly around the net front and possesses the ability to score in bunches. His stock in the draft has been on the rise over the course of the year. He’s worked his way into the first-round conversation but if he does slip out of the round one, he could end up being the steal of the draft.”
NHL.com’s Mike Morreale— “A smart, skilled player who executes with pace and excels as a penalty-killer. Jarvis creates offense with his vision, quickness and playmaking ability.”
and Sportsnet’s Sam Cosentino— “Super reliable player in a variety of situations and his production has exceeded expectations”
The Draft Analyst’s Steve Kournianos sung impressively high praise about nearly all areas of Jarvis’ game in a drool inducing profile— “A slick and cerebral forward with excellent hands...He can dish the puck with flair but also play the role of a sniper... Jarvis keeps his feet moving at all times and tracks the puck like a hawk... Jarvis darts inside with consistency and doesn’t seem deterred by traffic or a potential double team... Not only is he a silky-smooth skater with grace and fluidity, but he can also unleash a quick first step and accelerate into open ice as if he were shot out of a cannon. Jarvis is as elusive and slippery as they come... Jarvis is a deadly-accurate shooter via the wrist shot and he does not require optimal or standard conditions to blister the puck off a quick release... Jarvis’s hands and puck control already are at an elite level, and few in this draft are as clean and capable at executing near-perfect odd-man rushes as he can.”
Not every player can have constant praise from everyone however, and Jarvis is no exception. A few notes on his less dominant areas—
Draftsite’s Bill Placzek had good words for Jarvis overall, but referenced concerns about his small size, lack of overall physicality, and a slightly underdeveloped defensive skillset— “Undersized centremen who will be presented with a challenge against the larger player...”
In addition to the obvious lack of size, a few profiles have mentioned that though Jarvis is overall considered to be a speedy skater, his stride lacks the type of power, particularly in the first few steps, you’d like to see from top prospects.
Future Considerations’ Justin Froese— “Slight player but has really elevated his game to be an offensive driver and all around 200-foot player ... Physicality and an explosive first step are his only slight downfalls but the ability to think has him all over the puck and there’s a lot of upside for growth into a contributor as a pro.”
A Few Visual Aids...
Jarvis’ size is certainly a consideration against his overall skillset, but its not nearly the flat tire it used to be in this league. Skilled forwards under 6’ are becoming almost the norm in the NHL. Yes, size helps, but when comparably-sized players include the likes of Nikita Kucherov, Artemi Panarin, and Patrick Kane, its tough to be overly critical of an 18 year old just for being 5’10”. Still, it is one factor working against his likelihood of being called in the first round by teams unwilling to take the risk on prospects with detriments they can’t fix— as they say, you can’t teach size. This works fantastically well for the Devils, however, as smaller skill forwards have become a large part of the team blueprint already and we happen to have three picks in the first round of this years draft.
Obviously there’s a ton of talent available and there are many players projected to go in the first round that would suit the Devils needs in a prospect. With room to grow in both size and strength, a strong skillset that will undoubtedly continue to improve and a penchant for creating and converting on high-danger scoring chances, Seth Jarvis should absolutely be in consideration to be one of those picks for New Jersey.
Would you take a chance on Jarvis in a late first round pick, or is he too much of a risk compared to other prospects? Where do you consider size on the list of important qualities for a prospect? Which player would you compare Jarvis’s style to if you had to pick? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and thanks for reading!