Jagger Firkus is a 2022 NHL draft-eligible prospect from Irma, Alberta, Canada, a town of just 520 people located approximately two hours southeast of Edmonton. The first thing that stands out about Firkus is his size, or lack thereof. Listed at just 5-foot-10, 154 pounds, he’s a small kid from a small town. He’s heard the criticism surrounding his lack of size, but didn’t let that prevent him from putting up a huge season in the WHL.
“I don’t care and that’s the truth. I honestly don’t care. I’ve been small my whole life and it’s not like I’m just going to magically be 6-foot-1,” Firkus said, via The Athletic‘s Scott Wheeler.
Prior to being the 82nd overall pick in the fourth round of the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft, Firkus played youth hockey for the Lloydminster Bobcats U15 AAA team during the 2018-19 season. There, he put up 33 goals and 32 assists for 65 points in only 30 games. The following year, he was elevated to the U18 AAA club, tallying 10 goals and 24 assists for 34 points in 30 games against much older competition.
After playing four games with the U18 AAA team, Firkus joined the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL for an abbreviated 2021 campaign. In his first season, he scored six goals and 14 points in 23 games. This past season, he exploded for 36 goals and 44 assists, while making significant improvements in his defensive game. In the postseason, he added six goals and six assists for 12 points in only 10 games.
Firkus’ 80 points during the regular season paced all Warriors skaters while finishing 14th among OHL forwards.
He’s a dynamic player, one that can score in several ways, including this lacrosse goal against Saskatoon in at the end of April.
- D.O.B – April 29, 2004
- Age – 18
- Place of Birth – Irma, Alberta
- Draft Eligibility – 2022
- Height – 5-foot-10
- Weight – 154 lbs
- Position – Center/Wing
- Shoots – Right
Ranked #29 by CONSOLIDATED RANKING
Ranked #20 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #52 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #20 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #18 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #12 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #28 by SPORTSNET
Ranked #30 by RECRUIT SCOUTING
Ranked #24 by DOBBERPROSPECTS
Ranked #34 by DRAFT PROSPECTS HOCKEY
Ranked #21 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Corey Pronman’s Analysis
Firkus’ skill and creativity stand out consistently. He shows great ability to beat defenders one-on-one with his stickhandling. He can make tough passes at a high rate through seams and under pressure. He is a shot-and-pass threat which makes him a major asset on a power play and often scores from range with a release that will beat NHL goalies. Firkus is quick, but not fast, showing good enough skating and compete to win battles but he’s not going to beat NHL defenders wide. The scoring ability is significant enough that I think he can be a middle-six winger.
Scott Wheeler’s Analysis
Firkus is one of those little guys who just always seems to be around it. He plays the game with pace, energy, and skill so that you can’t help but notice him shift-to-shift as he dashes around the ice making plays offensively. With the puck, defenders struggle to stick with him off of cuts and when they do he’s got the craftiness to beat them in other ways. Without the puck, he races in and out of pockets to get open. The result is a magnetic game that pulls you (and opposing players) in and then beats them with aggression and intention. Where scouts often ask questions about drafting a kid who is as light as he is in and around the first round (he’s listed at 153 pounds), the way he plays the game has really endeared himself to just about everyone.
The Hockey Writer’s Analysis
Firkus has played both at center and wing in the WHL, but he projects as a wing in the NHL. His tendency to be the last skater back on the backcheck would be detrimental in the NHL, and it’s difficult to be a center at his size. It isn’t impossible, as players like Brayden Point and Mikael Granlund have proven, but it is uncommon. The reduced defensive responsibility at wing will be good for him, and he will have more opportunities to attack defensemen one-on-one. His excellent shot will also make him a serious threat on the power play.
Last Word on Hockey’s Analysis
Firkus is a real boom or bust prospect. He has high-end offensive skills and if those translate to the pro game, he can become a top-line winger at the next level. While he has played both right-wing and centre in the WHL, the lack of dynamic speed and the limits of his size mean that he projects as a winger at the pro level. Firkus will need to work on improving his skating and his strength over the next couple of years. Expect him to spend that time in the WHL, and perhaps to have some AHL time as well. One issue is that if his offence doesn’t translate to the pro game, Firkus won’t be able to play a bottom-line role. His game is reminiscent of Johnny Gaudreau. This is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.