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From the draft to the top-six: Jack Roslovic’s progression
On June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida, Jack Roslovic heard his name called in the first round of the NHL draft.
Fast forward to present day, and the now 22-year-old is in the midst of a breakout campaign, skating on the right wing of the Jets’ second line.
What’s gone into the process of getting from one point to the next?
"What time is it? I don't have all day to answer that,” laughed Roslovic. “It's been a ride, you know just developing and growing."
Suiting up for the Miami University RedHawks in Oxford, Ohio for 36 games (and 26 points), winning gold for Team USA at the the 2017 World Junior Hockey Championship in Montreal, completing his first year of professional hockey with the Manitoba Moose, and briefly yo-yoing between the Moose and the Jets before spending the entire season in Winnipeg in 2018-2019.
That sounds about right for Jets’ head coach Paul Maurice.
"We went on a run where our higher first picks just played for us, so we've kind of measured all these guys against Nicky and Patty,” he said. “Where the normal course is exactly what Jack did. And then you work your way up the lineup."
Roslovic believes that playing with different types of players, in different types of situations, and at different points in the lineup has made him a more complete player.
"Playing with Lowry and Copp, you know you're shutting down but you're trying to chip in some offence and get some momentum,” he said. “And then when you're playing with Wheels and Patty (Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine), and or Wheels and Fly (Nikolaj Ehlers), you're trying to score."
His progress has been further expedited by his current centre, 33-year-old veteran, captain and source of on-ice intensity Blake Wheeler.
"He doesn't say much, more of a leader by his actions,” said Roslovic. “And you know when he does say something, people, especially me and Fly, take it to heart."
"That's going to be true of everybody that he's played with here,” said Maurice. “He accelerates their growth. He is a catalyst for those guys changing the curve that they're on from normal to accelerated."
He’s playing at a high level, with six points in his last seven games, and 12 total through 27. Now the key for Roslovic, is maintaining that level.
"Using speed, one of my assets, when I'm skating fast and skating hard then I'm playing my best,” he said, “Just trying to find that on a consistent basis."
"It goes from glimpses in one in four games, to half the games he's really good,” said Maurice. “The top end guys are going three in four, and a lot of times four in four for long periods of time, where he's playing the exact same game."