|6’2”||187||2-27-04||D||L||22nd 2020||75th NA||CANADA|
|2018-19||U-15||Richmond Hill Coyotes||25||14||18||32|
|2019-20||U-16||York Simcoe Express||33||12||18||30|
|2020-21||OHL||DID NOT PLAY||0||0||0||0|
I hate to begin with a negative but there really is no other place to begin. I just can’t buy into some of the mid-term rankings of London Knights blueliner Jackson Edward. When the Knights selected Edwards with the 22nd overall pick at the 2020 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, at the very least his production at both the Under-15 and Under-16 levels indicated there was some offensive abilities there.
Of course, the lost 2020-2021 season didn’t do any favors for Edward but every OHL player was in the same situation except for a handful of players that got to play a few games. I also understand that when you play defence for the London Knights, your first responsibility is, well, defence. With everything under consideration, 6 points in 52 games for me was a disappointment. I had him penciled in for a 20-point season and he fell short of that. Maybe my expectations were too high.
Edward has good size at 6’2” and very good mobility. He’s able to retrieve pucks and has the ability to start the transition to offense. He has shown he can be strong defensively and make the right decisions. He has the ability to keep gaps close with his mobility and reach, keep players to the outside, take away lanes and be positionally sound. However, there is a lack of consistency to all those. While he has shown the abilities, they just don’t happen on a consistent enough basis.
Now for the good stuff. There is one thing you can’t take away from Edward and that’s his work ethic and commitment to improve his game and be the best player he can possibly be. In speaking with those close to the situation, they same the same things: Failure is not an option for Edward and he will put in all the hard work to improve his game day in and day out.
His meal ticket to the next level may just have to be his defensive game but he’ll need to continue to put the heavy lifting into fully developing. And who knows? Maybe he will find his offence once again.