They say “Good things come to those who wait,” the Winnipeg Jets are hopeful to see this come true with Rutger McGroarty.
McGroarty was selected by the Jets 14th overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft and is yet to make his professional hockey debut.
The 19-year-old forward is set to play in his second season of action at the University of Michigan in the upcoming 2023-24 season. Last year, McGroarty scored 18 goals and averaged a point per game with 39 points in as many games played.
As with most first-round selections, expectations are high for McGroarty in Winnipeg. However, Jets fans will need to wait to see what they have in the young prospect as he continues his development in the NCAA.
The expectation for the six-foot-one, 200-pound forward is that he’ll play out the 2023-24 season in Michigan before making the jump to the NHL. This could see McGroarty make the leap to professional hockey as soon as April or next season. That’s dependent on multiple factors and remains to be seen.
2023-24 presents a fantastic opportunity for the young forward to make strides in his continued development. He’ll have the opportunity to contribute to his school's success and should be a member of the USA’s World Juniors team this Winter.
We’ve seen many exciting young players jump from NCAA hockey to the NHL and have an instant impact. The most recent example is Matthew Knies of the Toronto Maple Leafs - and the Jets are hopeful McGroarty is next up.
Another season of development can benefit Rutger McGroarty's success as he looks to become an impactful player at the highest level of hockey.