The Winnipeg Jets looked to Sweden for their first two picks on day two of the 2020 NHL Draft.
The Jets selected forward Daniel Torgersson with the 40th overall pick in the second round. They didn’t have another selection until the fifth round where they picked up another Swedish prospect in defenceman Anton Johannesson.
With their final pick of the draft, the Jets added another defenceman. The Jets chose Canadian Tyrel Bauer of the Western Hockey League’s Seattle Thunderbirds with the 164th pick of the sixth round.
Torgersson has already played professionally in the best league in Sweden. He’s split time between Frölunda HC of the Swedish Hockey League and Frölunda’s junior team. In 39 games with the junior team last season, he recorded 26 goals and 18 assists. He’s dressed for eight games with the parent club.
“It’s a great day,” he said.
Various scouting reports call him a big power forward with speed and mobility.
“He’s kind of a middle six type of forward,” Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said. “I think that’s where we project him. He skates well, good character, good hockey sense, strong along the boards, and can protect pucks well. Someone that I think is gonna continue to develop and grow into his body.”
“I’m a guy who likes to play with high speed,” Torgersson said. “And attack the goal, attack the net.”
Torgersson was back home in Sweden at a restaurant with his family and agent when he saw the news.
“I saw on TV that Winnipeg picked me,” he said. “And it was a really nice feeling. Really from the first meeting with them, I feel it was a great organization and it just feels very good.”
Johannesson is playing with HV71’s under-20 team. He had eight goals and 16 assists in 20 games last season, and helped Sweden to a bronze medal at the 2019 U17 World Hockey Challenge.
With their four picks in the draft, the Jets ended up with two forwards, and two defencemen.
“We got different types of players,” Cheveldayoff said. “Today’s picks added different dimensions to the organization and different positions as well.”
Three more Manitobans were taken on the second day of the draft after Winnipeg’s Seth Jarvis went to the Carolina Hurricanes with the 13th overall pick in the first round. Brandon’s Tristen Robins of the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades went to the San Jose Sharks with the 56th pick in the second round. It’s the same team his father Trevor spent time with in the early 90’s, and Tristen did his Zoom interview wearing an old school Sharks jacket.
“Dad signed a contract with San Jose after his 20-year-old season in Brandon,” Robins said. “And this is the jacket he got, so it’s pretty cool I get to throw it on today.”
Fellow Brandonite Daemon Hunt is now a member of the Minnesota Wild after the defenceman was selected in the third round at 65th overall.
“For me to come into Minnesota, I’m strong defensively, and I think my offensive part of my game can really develop,” Hunt said. “But I think what completes me as a player is having a two-way game, and bringing energy. Not necessarily being a powerplay guy, but being a shut down guy and doing anything to win at the end of the day.”
And Macdonald’s Ben McCartney of the Brandon Wheat Kings joins the Arizona Coyotes with the 204th selection.
Connor McClennon was the only member of the Winnipeg Ice to be taken. He went to the Philadelphia Flyers in the sixth round with 178th pick. The big brother of Ice forward Matthew Savoie, Carter, was a fourth round pick of his hometown Edmonton Oilers.
A pair of Wheaties were selected late in the draft. Just prior to McCartney getting drafted, Cole Reinhardt was chosen by the Ottawa Senators with the 181st pick in the sixth round.
With the draft now complete, free agency is up next with players hitting the open market on Friday.