Blade Jenkins, believe it or not, is a resident of Wisconsin and not Western Canada, which is honestly where I thought a name like Blade Jenkins would appear.
Other than a fantastic name to have sitting around on anyone’s depth chart, Blade has put together one of the best seasons of his life as a member of the Saginaw Spirit after a hectic 2016-17 that had him jumping around the entire US-Development system looking for a place to stay. In one year, he ended up with 44 points (20 goals, 24 assists) in 68 games, and 3 points in 4 games in the OHL playoffs.
How he got there is best described in a short documentary on Blade from about two years ago when he was still playing in the U16 circuit called “Relentless”, which may have some biased sources on the matter...seeing as a lot of the people they talk to are coaches and family:
While obviously those in the micro-documentary are doing more than a little tire-pumping, many of the phrases that scouts used about Blade are also being echoed by his coaches and parents. His aggressiveness on or around the puck, high-hockey IQ and great sense in working in systems that require cycling the puck and thus can easily switch out from being a playmaker to being a goalscorer practically on the fly, making the players around him better (which he had to be, as Saginaw had a miserable return in forwards that could actually do things), and in general a level of intensity around the hashmarks and around the net that made him a real challenge for the OHL. Just ask North Bay early in the season.
Where Blade struggles on the other hand, is stuff that development and coaching are for. Blade is 6’2 and just a few pounds under 200, so filling out his frame a bit would likely be a priority for him coming into next year. Another area Jenkins tends to come up a bit short is defensive positioning and timing, where he’s been stated to lack consistency more than anything else. His biggest issue right now is acceleration in his skating. He’s able to move around and cause havoc for sure, but right now he’s still a work-in-progress in getting that immediate burst of speed.
The kicker for all of this? He’s probably going to be one of the youngest players in the draft this year. as he will have recently turned 17 by the time his name gets called. This gives whoever gets him plenty of opportunity to mold Blade Jenkins into whatever kind of player they want him to be and plenty of time to build him into the best version of Blade Jenkins possible. Even better, his change from Center to Winger seemed to make him a much better player than previously thought, so flexibility will always be appreciated.
His current projection places him as a late 2nd rounder, so maybe taking a flyer on the guy wouldn’t be a bad idea.
#26th in North America by NHL Central Scouting
#71st by Future Considerations
Blade Jenkins Statline
|2015-16||Compuware U16||HPHL U16||22||15||21||36|
|2016-17||USNDTP Juniors/ US National U17/ US National U18||USHL/USDP||91||5||8||13|