The term “diamond in the rough” is a bit overused when it comes to talking about late round picks in not just hockey but in all of sports. Late round picks are supposed to rarely turn out to be productive NHL’ers but that doesn’t stop people from speculating in the first couple of years after a pick has been made that a certain prospect could possibly buck the trend and be that gem of a player that no one should have expected anything from at the start.

Declan Chisholm is one of those players for the Jets who was seen as a bit of a project when drafted a couple of years ago and has progressed nicely in the year following his selection.

Declan Chisholm

  • Born: Jan 12, 2000 (Age 19)
  • Birthplace: Bowmanville, ONT
  • Position: Defense
  • Handedness: Left
  • Frame: 6’1″ / 190 lbs
  • Drafted: 2018 – 5th Round – 150 Overall
  • Played Last Year: Peterborough Petes (OHL)



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Press Clippings:

“Chisholm is always involved in the play. He’s not making the high-skill plays on the ice, but he’s consistently making the right play. He’s making the best decision given his circumstances and skill level, which maximizes his skills, allowing him to be one of the OHL’s top blueliners.”

Breaking down Jets prospect Declan Chisholm’s breakout campaign with Petes – The Athletic (Dec 12, 2018)

“I started off really strong. I was one of the best players on the team, surrounded by a bunch of good players,” said Chisholm. “Then around the halfway mark, I was struggling to get more points but I found other aspects of my game where coming together. Defensively, I was shutting down top lines every night and (I’m) just looking to build on all of that next year.”

Chisholm wants more: Jets D prospect coming off strong season – Winnipeg Sun (Jun 27, 2019)

Chisholm really took his game to the next level this past season, developing into a solid two-way defenseman. What sets him apart is his skating ability, changing directions with ease, handling the forecheck and making crisp outlet passes to his teammates. The Jets may have landed a “diamond in the rough” in the late rounds of their draft.

Declan Chisholm profile – (May 2019)


What We Said At The Time:

“Last season with the Peterborough Petes, Chisolm recorded one goal and four assists in 41 games. For a player billed as a defensive defensemen, he plays a clean game as he recorded only six PIM all last season. The scouting reports have Chisolm listed as a shutdown defensmen with good skating ability and decent puck-moving skills.”

Winnipeg Jets Select Declan Chisholm & Giovanni Vallati in the 5th Round


What We Say Now:

One good year at junior where he started to show off his ability to play with the puck and help generate offense for his club has made people stand up and take notice of Declan, but he’s still quite a ways away from being NHL ready. His skating is great for the level he’s at now, but once you get to the processional leagues it’s not as much of an advantage as it is playing with your own age group.

Chisholm will have to continue to show development in his offensive game while not giving anything up on the defensive end of the ice, but he’s well on his way to doing just that. Defensemen who can be relied on to play steady, penalty-free defense in front of their net while helping move the puck up ice are valuable and hard to come by in the NHL and while it’s still a bit early to say so yet, the Jets may indeed have a late round pick who will blossom into a true two-way defenseman.