Second City Hockey’s 2019-20 preseason Blackhawks Top 25 Under 25 series ranks the organization’s top 25 players under the age of 25 by Oct. 1, 2019. The rankings are determined by a composite score from six SCH writers and more than 70 readers. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. The six SCH writers will make their ballots public after the series is completed.
Entering the 2018-19 season, it would have been fair to assume Jake Wise was the Blackhawks’ top forward prospect, with the majority of the organization’s recent draft capital devoted to defensemen. That’s changed over the last year, but Wise still has a bright future, or at least he should.
Wise only played a third of his freshman season with Boston University, recording two assists in 12 games. It will take a full season to judge what Wise is capable of at that level, so hopefully he stays healthy in 2019-20.
Though injuries are now a recurring theme for the young centerman. Wise missed half of his draft year, when he definitely could have improved his draft stock, due to a broken collarbone. His 2018-19 injury was rumored to be a shoulder issue, which means his upper chest could be a problem area moving forward.
But Wise continues to be a playmaker and have the same accurate and powerful shot he had when the Blackhawks drafted him. He’s also in the same program that developed notable NHL forwards like Charlie Coyle, Clayton Keller and Jordan Greenway in recent seasons. He’s shown a knack for excelling in the defensive zone, and the NCAA has proven to develop talented players there, too — look no further than the Blackhawks’ own Dylan Sikura.
While the hope is Wise is better offensively than Sikura, having a similar style of play in their own zone would not be a bad thing.
Moreover, Wise has had lots of praise from his past and current coaches. Seth Appert from the United States National Development Program compared Wise’s dynamic offensive ability and ultra-competitiveness to NHL stars Brendan Gallagher and Brad Marchand. Boston University’s Albie O’Connell sees Wise as an elite talent and appreciates his desire to make a difference in all three zones of the ice by taking pride in winning faceoffs and not cheating when it comes to his effort and positioning in the defensive zone. Clearly, there’s a lot to like about Wise’s robust skillset.
Wise’s highlights didn’t change much, getting hurt after only two assists in the NCAA and missing development camp while in a black non-contact jersey, but he did make some impressive plays.
Nice stickwork by Jake Wise at the right crease... Terriers take a 5-0 lead! #GoBU pic.twitter.com/HTATOBw2Tu— BU Men's Hockey (@TerrierHockey) October 7, 2018
4-0, good guys! Patrick Curry cleans up a rebound off a Jake Wise shot. #GoBU pic.twitter.com/bpIEXscJs9— BU Men's Hockey (@TerrierHockey) October 7, 2018
Wise will return to BU for his sophomore season. If he’s finally able to stay on the ice all season, and performs well given the opportunity, he could find himself being moved to the Rockford IceHogs soon after. He’ll be given more than an adequate opportunity next season, as he should get a look as one of BU’s top centers along with 2019 first-round draft choice Trevor Zegras (Ducks) and will be joined by fellow Blackhawks defenseman prospect Alex Vlasic.
Hopefully there’s more to write about Wise in January.
Is Jake Wise ranked too low, just right or too high?
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