San Jose Sharks Should Be Snooping Around Winnipeg Jets Prospect Rutger McGroarty

Michigan forward Rutger McGroarty (2) practice as they prepare for the semifinal game against Boston College at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. on Wednesday, April 10, 2024.
Michigan forward Rutger McGroarty (2) practice as they prepare for the semifinal game against Boston College at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Sportsnet Insider Elliotte Friedman reported that a top prospect from the Winnipeg Jets organization is unlikely to sign with the organization right now. Rutger McGroarty was the Jets' first-round pick in the 2022 NHL entry draft, selected 14th overall. This player has spent the last two years honing his craft at the University of Michigan and has announced returning for year three. This has sparked the rumor mill, and his name is coming up as a player likely on the move.

This 6'1, 205 lbs forward can play both center and left wing. He's mainly a playmaker, but his relentless effort combined with his size makes him a force to be reckoned with physically, and it helps that he is now 20. His attitude is that of another player who wants to prove that he belongs in the NHL, and San Jose can offer that to the Nebraskan forward, whereas the Winnipeg Jets don't view him as NHL-ready.

San Jose is also in a unique situation where they could offer the Pittsburgh Penguins first-round pick this year as a starting point for this player. It's a strong position for the Sharks to sit in when it comes to pushing for this prospect. There's no denying that they can offer an excellent future package for this prospect, which will entice any organization. But there are other parties the Sharks would need to convince.

As for the player himself, McGroarty thinks he is ready for the NHL, and the San Jose Sharks are in a position where they could dedicate a few slots to guys who might be prepared for the show early in the season. If he isn't NHL-ready, it's not going to make the Sharks underachieve for a few games, and he could prove to be an excellent piece for the organization. San Jose can gamble here and be in a strong position regardless of the outcome.