Devils Draft Series: Seth Jarvis, Elite Skater With Versatility

Seth Jarvis torched the WHL as he finished second in league-wide scoring. (Photo by: Matthew Wolfe)

Profile

Seth Jarvis is a Canadian forward who played quite a bit of right-wing. The right-handed shot is listed at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds. He has spent his whole junior career playing in Canada, most recently spending time in the WHL with the Portland Winterhawks. He also has extensive experience in international tournaments. In the final 2020 NHL Prospect Rankings, he ranks 11th among North American skaters, this after being ranked 19th in the midterm rankings.  

The Statistics

Jarvis started his junior career as a 13-year-old in the Winnipeg Bantam Division Two. He scored a hefty 69 points (48 goals, 21 assists) in only 29 games. This number led the league by 25 points, and his 2.38 point-per-game average is higher than Nolan Patrick’s 2011-12 season. The following season, Jarvis played in the Canadian Sport School Bantam Hockey League. As a 14-year-old he racked up 66 points in 30 games, which were fifth-most among 173 players in the league.

In the 2017-18 season, Jarvis moved up a level in the CSSHL, tallying 60 points in 32 games (32 goals, 28 assists). His 1.88 points-per-game average ranked ninth among 412 players. He made his WHL debut with Portland during this same season, only appearing in 11 games and totaling two assists. 

The 2018-19 season was when Jarvis participated in his first full WHL season, where he compiled 39 points in 61 games on a playoff team, so he did not see a ton of ice time. This season, he exploded for 98 points (42 goals, 56 assists) and a plus-53 rating in 58 games. His 98 points were the highest on his team by 28, and the goal total was 13 higher. That point total was also the second-most in the WHL, and the plus/minus led the league. Jarvis’ points-per-game average was higher than the likes of Leon Draisaitl, Evander Kane, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in their respective draft-eligible WHL seasons. 

Additionally, the Winterhawks were a team that rolled most of the team’s forward lines every night, meaning Jarvis wasn’t a beneficiary of a ton of ice time like many of his fellow draft prospects. He also participated in the most recent Hlinka Gretzky Cup, as he helped Team Canada to a silver medal, where he contributed four points in five games.

Jarvis’s Scouting Report

Strengths

Jarvis prides his game on his skating ability. His elite skating, described by many as one of the best in the whole draft, is where the rest of his game grows from. He has a smooth stride that seems effortless and allows him to easily beat opposing players one-on-one and also helps draw a tremendous amount of penalties. 

His skating contributes to his excellent playmaking abilities too. He has great vision and a high hockey IQ, along with the elite skating, allows him to create numerous chances for his teammates and himself. Watching his film shows a lot of chances in close on goalies, and in return has made his hands in tight areas and finishing ability a great asset to his game. 

His skating and high hockey IQ also allows him to be solid defensively. Takeaways and turnovers are often created for this reason. His defensive positioning and awareness are also solid, making his defensive game something he can continue to grow. Worth noting, he was a large part of the Winterhawks’ penalty kill. 

His production, as mentioned above, this season was elite. It was better compared to current NHLers when they competed in the WHL. And the fact it was in the WHL is an accomplishment in itself, as the league is regarded as the best defensive league among the three CHL leagues. Whether it be due to the better defensive structure or better netminders, 98 points and 42 goals is an impressive feat.  

Weaknesses

For someone that is regarded as only a mid-to-late first-round pick, Jarvis does not have any significant weaknesses.

One area that can be addressed is his strength and weight. At only 177-pounds, Jarvis is susceptible to being knocked off the puck when his speed does not bail him out. But this is an easy fix as at only 18 years old, he will put on the strength and weight needed as he adjusts to the professional style of play.

Another area of his game that receives some criticism is his top speed. It’s nowhere near poor, but how elite the rest of the aspects of his skating are, his top speed would be expected to be slightly better.

Projection

Jarvis flew up scouting boards thanks to a tremendous WHL season. Although many still regard him as only a mid-to-late first-round pick. I think this is disrespectful to the type of player and potential Jarvis has. He should have no problem translating to a top-six scoring forward, with very possible top-line capabilities while being able to play in all circumstances. 

Jarvis is an intriguing prospect, due to his extremely high upside in both his offensive and defensive games. Which is crazy to think because of how polished of a player he already is. People have even compared the way Jarvis plays to the likes of Mitch Marner. That does not sound like someone who is a late-first round prospect. 

With all this said, predicting where Jarvis will be drafted is tough. The consensus believes he will be taken between picks 15-18. But do not be surprised if he comes off the board much sooner than that, maybe even near the top-10.

Fit With the Devils 

The Devils should covet a player like Jarvis. He is a prospect with an extremely high ceiling and can play either center or wing. He will bring not only a scoring touch but also solid defensive abilities. With three picks, he should be targeted with at least one. 

I believe the Devils’ second first-round pick is slightly too earlier to use on Jarvis. There is most likely going to be a better player available in this spot; examples being Cole Perfetti or Anton Lundell. However, if neither one of these guys is there and the best players available are the likes of Yaroslav Askarov, Dylan Holloway, or Rodion Amirov, I would not be opposed to pulling the trigger on Jarvis that early. 

Now, if Jarvis is somehow left when the Devils are on the clock with the team’s third first-rounder, he needs to be taken. And whoever the general manager is making the pick for New Jersey needs to be instantly celebrated and rewarded with an extension. Because that pick would be an absolute steal at that stage of the draft.

Ranking of Evaluated Prospects

1. Alexis Lafrenière (no profile will be released)

2. Tim Stützle (05/07/2020)

3. Marco Rossi (04/30/2020)

4. Quinton Byfield (05/08/2020)

5. Jamie Drysdale (05/01/2020)

6. Lucas Raymond (04/28/2020)

7. Cole Perfetti (05/05/2020)

8. Alexander Holtz (04/29/2020)

9. Anton Lundell (05/11/2020)

10. Yaroslav Askarov (05/05/2020)

11. Seth Jarvis (Today)

12. Jake Sanderson (05/04/2020)

13. Jack Quinn (05/09/2020) 

14. Rodion Amirov (05/12/2020)

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