Winnipeg Jets welcome more new faces in NHL Entry Draft

The Winnipeg Jets have had a busy week.

Following the blockbuster trade that sent centre Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, and Wednesday’s first-round, 18th-overall draft choice of Colby Barlow, the team made four more draft selections Thursday in Nashville.

The Jets had no second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, but selected forward Zach Nehring with the 82nd overall pick in round three.

The 18-year-old from Minot, N.D., has spent the past four years playing hockey at Minnesota prep school Shattuck-St. Mary’s, scoring 11 points in six games en route to winning the U18 USA Hockey National Championship with the team.

Winnipeg fans may have to wait a while to see Nehring in a Jets uniform, however, as he’s committed to play for the Western Michigan University Broncos.

In a break from past drafts, Nehring was the only American player selected by Winnipeg, with Barlow and the other draftees all products of Canada.

The Jets’ fifth-round selection, Jacob Julien (146th overall) reached the Ontario Hockey League final this past season as a member of the London Knights.

Julien, 18, scored 16 points in 40 regular-season games with the Knights, adding seven more in the team’s playoff run.

With the 151st pick, the Jets chose Western Hockey League champion Thomas Milic of the Seattle Thunderbirds.

Milic, 20, backstopped the Thunderbirds to the WHL championship with a .928 save percentage — .933 in the playoffs — and led his team to the Memorial Cup final.

The B.C. native was also the recipient of the Del Wilson Trophy as the goalie of the year, was selected to the first all-star team, and went 5-0-0 for the gold medal-winning Team Canada at the World Junior Championship.

Finally, Winnipeg drafted forward Connor Levis at 210th overall in the seventh round of the draft.

A member of the Kamloops Blazers of the WHL, Levis has 123 points over the past three seasons, and was selected as the WHL’s Scholastic Player of the Year for 2021-22.

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