The Winnipeg Jets have a fine prospect pool. They do not lack potential star power with their forward prospects. When you look at their forward prospects you can see them all being on the Jets roster within the next 4 years. The question the Jets will face is if they have the space on the roster for all of them to get the playing time they deserve. Will some be moved? When will they make the team? Will they even make the team? We will take a look at the top 5 prospects for the Winnipeg Jets and give an honest opinion on when we will see them or if we will see them with a Jets jersey on.

5. Nikita Chibrikov

We will start with #5 on this list in Nikita Chibrikov. Right now he is playing on the Jets farm team in the Manitoba Moose. He has put up 17 goals and 41 points through 60 games this year. It his first year playing in the AHL so those area impressive numbers. Before the Moose, he spent time playing in the KHL, MHL, and VHL, which are all different levels of leagues in Russia.

Chibrikov has shown promise at the AHL level. His downsize is literally his size. He stands at 5 foot 10 inches and is 172 pounds. So not the biggest guy as a winger. The good thing is he is a scrappy player, he is not afraid of getting his hands dirty to get a puck. He may not be a line driver, but think Brandon Tanev from years back. Tanev never took over a game, but a shift 100% he could. Chibrikov is that type of player. You have to think his ceiling is middle six winger, if his offense keeps developing he could be a more offensive player than Tanev was in his time here.

Does He Make It To The Jets: Yes, but not for 2 years. Look for 2027 to see his name start popping up more.

4. Chaz Lucius

Chaz Lucius has unfortunately been riddled with injury the last couple of years. This year it was a season ending ankle surgery that ended his season. Last year it was a shoulder injury. When on the ice, he has shown he has the talent to make it to the NHL. His health is the biggest concern because this season he had 13 points in 17 games with the Manitoba Moose. He can play at the pro level and has proven it over the last two years.

Lucius, as mentioned before, has had health issues, but when on the ice he can dominate a game. He has an elite offensive ability. Chaz has a great shot and just an innate ability to be in the right place at the right time. Not only that but he has that ability to just change the pace of a shift. He has quick feet and elite edges. Lucius is a line driver type winger. He can be the type of guy that takes over a game and with his elite finishing ability he can develop into an easy 20 goal score with the potential to be a 30 or more goal scorer. If he could just stay healthy.

Does He Make It To The Jets: Maybe, but not for 2 years for the Jets. He needs to play a full healthy season before the Jets can bring him up. Lucius is also a prospect the Jets could move in a future trade.

3. Colby Barlow

“We drafted Colby Barlow, that’s pretty hot” is what Kevin Cheveldayoff said the day they drafted him. Barlow was one of those guys that fell into the Jets lap. He was expected to go just after 10 and fell to 18 for the Jets to nab him. Barlow is an elite player that has the ability to score goals at will while also be an elite play maker. He is type of player that can score goals while also not afraid to get a little nasty. Think Zach Hyman when you think of Colby Barlow. Hyman took a bit to get to the show but when he got there he made noise.

Barlow has the playing style of work harder not smarter right now. Once he makes it to the pros he will have to adjust to the lack of time and space the AHL offers. When it comes to his type of play, he will have to learn to think quicker as he does not have the foot speed yet to keep up with the top AHL players. He should develop into a supplementary piece for the Jets with the potential to make an impact in the top 6 in the future.

Does He Make It To The Jets: Yes, but not for awhile, maybe 3 to 4 years. He needs to learn to play against men and get a little faster to play pro.

2. Brad Lambert

Brad Lambert is a polarizing player. When he was drafted, the vibe around Lambert is that he had an attitude problem. Now that he has been playing more in the pros, that narrative has kind of evaporated. Which makes the pick at #30 look even better. Lambert was at a time projected to go in the top ten. The skill was obvious but the attitude problem really made his stock fall. You add that and a not so great 2022 season by Lambert and that’s how he fell in the Jets lap.

Lambert has the speed, skill and hockey IQ to make the Jets soon. Where he has flaws is piecing it all together to create an identity as a player. During his preseason games, you can see the high flying reckless skill that he has. He is a high danger chances creator, but it’s the conversion rate on the chances he tries to create. He gives the puck away more than he creates which just means he needs to make smart plays. Lambert will be an elite player in the NHL if he can find his identity. He can be the guy that drives offense for a line for years to come.

Does He Make It To The Jets: Yes and maybe as soon as next year. The Jets have a lot of depth in their forward ranks so that may hinder his chances. He may need one more year in the AHL, but you may see Lambert wearing a Jets jersey sooner rather than later.

1. Rutger McGroarty

Rutger McGroarty is the real deal. He is pro ready and is the type of player you can look for as potential letter wearer for the Jets. McGroarty is the whole package, scoring ability, playmaker, strength, size, and hockey IQ. He has the ability to play up and down the line up and drive a line at center or on the wing. He may need to improve his speed to keep up with the pro players, but he is not slow by any means. Rutger brings a championship pedigree as well as he has won a World Juniors Gold, Silver and Bronze, while also winning a NCAA Big 10 Championship.

McGroarty is just overflowing with skill. He can fly down the ice and beat you with his speed and hands. He can also beat you with going to work in the offensive zone. McGroarty is just so smart with the puck. No matter if he is shooting to score or just trying to put the puck in a place that creates a chance. He is so strong on the puck that even when it looks like a defenseman has him he can get a shot off. Rutger is a magician, he just creates amazing chances and plays our of nothing!

Does He Make It To The Jets: Overwhelming yes. He will be on a pro roster when he finishes his NCAA season. There is a chance it may even be on the Jets this year. They could use a player like him on the third line to just make them even deeper. If not the Jets, getting some pro reps on the Moose will only help his development.


Jets nation should be getting excited for the forward prospects coming. Obviously the high end pieces should be impacting the organization more very soon. Some players we may not be for a little while, but will make the Jets roster in the future. Watch out as some of these prospects may be dawning the Navy soon, but others may find themselves in another teams colors. Either way these players will be fun to watch, no matter what team they play for.

Make sure you check out the Jets Goaltending Prospects Report and Jets Defense Prospects Report on Area 51 Sports Network.