2020 NHL Draft Profile: Seth Jarvis

portlandSeth Jarvis

RW, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

5’10″/172 lbs, 17.62 years old


Strengths:

Quick, shifty skater:

  • Jarvis’ game as a whole is extremely shifty, and that is especially reflected in his skating. He moves exceptionally well laterally and can sneak past defenders wide, slipping by them before they have time to match his movement.
  • His edges are terrific, allowing him to cut hard in both directions without losing balance or speed. He’s strong enough on his skates to absorb a reasonable amount of defensive contact, and can escape defenders in close proximity through quick evasive moments.
  • Gains speed quickly with powerful, though occasionally choppy crossovers.

Soft hands; excellent puck skills:

  • Jarvis has an excellent set of hands; he handles himself well under pressure, can maintain possession while in close proximity to a defender, and create space for himself with his hands.
  • Legitimate threat to embarrass defenders in one-on-one situations,         
  • Went just 1 for 6 on shootout opportunities this year, a surprisingly low mark considering the puck skills that he’s shown in other situations. A little unlucky it seems.

Great vision, excellent playmaker:

  • Jarvis has terrific vision: he can spot open teammates and use his agility and feet to create cross-ice seams.
  • Excellent touch as a passer, can lay difficult passes through sticks and bodies. Sees the play develop and can play passes into space for teammates to skate on to.

Skillful scorer, picks his spots and shots well:

  • Not an overly powerful shot, but he’s an accurate shooter that can pick the top corners from in tight.
  • Able to penetrate the slot seemingly at will with his agility and puck skills. More than enough finishing talent to consistently score from that range.
  • Averaged 3.78 shots per game in the WHL, shooting just under 20%.

High-energy player, forechecks hard, hounds puck:

  • Loves to get in as the first man on the forecheck, uses his speed to put heavy pressure on defenders. Quick and agile enough to chase a player around the net, catch them easily, and strip them of possession.
  • I can count several instances just in the games and clips that I’ve seen of Jarvis where he forces a defender to make a mistake in his own zone, jumps on the loose puck, and buries it in the net.

Weaknesses:

Top speed lags behind rest of his skating:

  • Jarvis is exceptionally shifty and agile as a skater, but his straight-away speed isn’t quite as much of a strength. He has a fairly upright stride– achieving a deeper consistent knee bend could unlock another gear for him. Adding breakaway speed to his profile could really up his effectiveness to an even higher level.

Extremely slight, needs to add strength:

  • At 5’10”, 172 lbs, Jarvis is very far from a physical specimen. That frame won’t hold him back, but he’ll need to bulk up to withstand the rigours of the NHL.
  • In particular, Jarvis could really benefit from added upper body strength. He can be bumped off the puck quite easily, and you can see him really have to put his body into longer passes. With additional strength, he could increase his range and power as both a passer and shooter while becoming much better at protecting the puck from larger defenders.

The Numbers:

AgeGPPTSPTS/GPP1/GP
17.6258981.691.22

After a more down-to-earth first half, Jarvis absolutely exploded offensively for the Portland Winterhawks in the New Year. He had 35 points in 32 games (1.09 points/game) up until January 1st, a typical late-first rounder rate of production, but raised the bar to an absolutely dominant level with 63 points in 26 games (2.4 points/game) afterwards. He shot 15% in the first half compared to 22.5% afterwards– increased shooting luck seems to be part of the story, but Jarvis also raised his average shots/game from 3.09 to 4.62, signalling a clear increase in quality of play in the year 2020.

Jarvis’ final rate of production– 1.22 primary points per game and 1.69 total points per game– stacks up very favourably to top prospects out of the WHL in the past. 1.22 primary points/game is the third highest rate from any WHL player since 2008, with only Leon Draisaitl and Nic Petan having more. His 1.69 points/game is the third highest rate as well– this time, only Sam Reinhart and Petan had more. Most encouraging, however, is Jarvis’ level of even-strength production: his 55 even-strength primary points in 58 games is the highest per-game rate in our sample dating back to 2008.

Summary

Jarvis is a shifty, highly-skilled offensive talent that absolutely decimated the WHL in the year 2020. His agility, edgework, and puck skills are all top-tier and allow him to attack the slot on an extremely frequent basis. A quick, accurate release allows him to finish seemingly at will from the range, and he excels at identifying open teammates and finding cross-seam lanes as a playmaker as well.

How did Jarvis flip the switch and take his game from a fringe first-round level to probable top-15 pick at the New Year? It’s hard to say, but finding his consistency seemed to be an important factor. Jarvis recorded at least one point in 21 of his first 32 games (66%), but went pointless in a game just twice in the 26 games afterwards, recording at least a point 92% of the time. He has always had an affinity for multi-point games: 81 of his 98 total points (83%) came in games where he recorded more than one point (that rate was 71% in the first half and 89% in the second; even with the jump, it constituted a significant portion of his points in both halves).

Which Jarvis will we get at the NHL level? The one that can take over games with his agility, puck skills, and dual-threat offensive profile, or the one that has all the talent but struggles to make a consistent impact? I would bet on the former, but it’s not a given. I expect we’ll see a top-six winger with 20+ goal upside and capable of up to 70 points a season. Jarvis is one of the 2020 draft’s most intriguing players, and it will be very interesting to track his progress in the WHL next season.

Statistics via pick224.com and whl.ca

Feature Image Credit: Dana Fjordb

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