Staying in the Western Hockey League after last week’s profile of defenseman Kaiden Guhle, today we take a closer look at Portland Winterhawks forward Seth Jarvis.
Seth Jarvis - Center - Portland Winterhawks - 2/2/2002 - 5-foot-10, 175 pounds
In recent years, both at the NHL level and in their draft picks, Carolina has targeted players who can play a fast and creative brand of hockey. Jarvis’s game fits those core attributes.
Although the WHL season was cut short, the Winnipeg native experienced the definition of a breakout campaign, increasing his point-per-game production from .64 a year ago to 1.69 in 2019-20. His 98 points and 42 goals ranked second and third, respectively, in the league, and his production carried over at the international level, with four points in five games at this years Gretzky Hlinka Cup.
Jarvis is one of the better skating forwards in the draft, not necessarily in straight line speed, but in explosion and agility in and out of his cuts. His low center of gravity allows for strong puck possession, and is complemented by his high motor which makes the forward a fit for the Hurricanes aggressive forechecking style.
In transition or after puck retrieval, Jarvis is elite, pushing the pace immediately and looking to re-enter the zone to pressure the defense. He isn’t afraid to battle, despite being what the old guard would consider “undersized.”
Offensively, Jarvis relies on his NHL-level release and accuracy to pick corners from in tight. He is a creative presence in all areas of the offensive zone with high-level puck skills and playmaking ability, but is at his best below the circles. The pressure that Jarvis can put on defensemen in one-one-one situations not only leads to scoring opportunities for himself but creates space for his linemates. He isn’t the best passer in this class, but is certainly adequate in that regard.
How well the young forward develops defensively over the next few seasons will, in my opinion, push him towards the center of the ice or the wing. He certainly has the tools to be a forechecking force due to his skating ability and tenacity, and projects to a penalty killing role in the future.
Jarvis reads the game well and shows up often in passing lanes, creating turnovers and transitioning to the offensive side of the puck on a dime. Where he struggles is against bigger forwards when he is not able to leverage his skating ability in a slower, grind-it-out style.
Carolina drafted a similar player a year ago in Ryan Suzuki, another high-IQ prospect who constantly pushes play through the neutral zone into the offensive zone. Suzuki’s elite passing ability would compliment Jarvis’s ability to finish as they develop together over the coming years. The Hurricanes have been forward heavy over the last couple drafts, and if the organization looks to continue the trend, Jarvis is a viable option.