Photo Credit: Rena Laverty
Scouting Report written by Paul Zuk
Small in size but certainly not in talent, Jeremy Wilmer is a 2021 NHL Draft Eligible Prospect honing his skills for the US National Team Development Program U18 team. Wilmer was born in Rockville Center, NY and played the majority of his youth hockey for the Long Island Gulls and North Jersey Avalanche of the AYHL. From 2016-17 to 2018-19, Wilmer was almost a three point-per-game player with the Gulls and Avalanche, which drew the eyes of a lot of scouts.
For the 2019-20 season, Wilmer linked up with the US National Development Team U17 squad, where he totaled an impressive 17 goals and 30 assists for 47 points in 72 games across all competitions. He also represented the USA at the IIHF Under-17 Championship, where he finished T5 in team scoring.
This past season, Wilmer made the jump to the U18 team, and continued on his success, notching 14 goals and 38 assists for 52 points in 59 games across all competitions. Wilmer played the majority of the season in the bottom six and on the wing, but was still able to rack up some impressive stats.
For the 2021-22 season, Wilmer is committed to Boston University, where he’ll see a familiar face in USNTDP teammate Tyler Boucher. Wilmer will look to bolster a Terriers squad hungry to return to their National Championship appearance form in 2014-15. Under the guidance of Head Coach Albie O’Connell, Wilmer will look to further develop his playmaking and transitional skills which already show to be quite promising.
D.O.B – August 16, 2003
Nationality – USA
Draft Eligibility – 2022
Height – 5’7″
Weight – 141 lbs.
Position – LW/C
Handedness – Left
Wilmer’s Style Of Play
Jeremy Wilmer is the modern day, 200ft winger who is a bit undersized. He certainly plays way above his size, and is not afraid to get physical. Watching a lot of his game tape from the past two seasons, he seems to have a little bit of Martin St. Louis in his game, being that scrappy, talented forward who can set up teammates with elite skill and creativity.
Wilmer is a treat to watch in the offensive zone, as he’s always keeping his head up, looking to make an obscure pass to a teammate for a scoring chance. He’s more of a pass-first forward, but definitely isn’t afraid to shoot the puck.
Defensively, Wilmer loves to get into the corners and fight for the puck, and he isn’t afraid to sacrifice the body to make a play for his team. He’s always getting back to assist his defensemen, and is effective at executing a zone breakout.
In transition, Wilmer is prone to dishing the puck to a teammate around the attacking blueline, or to just dump the puck in and chase after it. He does show a fair bit of patience when making a decision, but can be forced into a choice if pressured hard enough.
Let’s take a deeper look into the aspects of Jeremy Wilmer’s game:
Arguably the strongest aspect of Wilmer’s game, his skating ability is really quite impressive. He’s really strong on his skates, and isn’t knocked off balance very often. He has quick feet, and can generate more speed by using his crossovers.
Wilmer’s edgework is also top notch, as he has little to no difficulty in eluding attackers with minimal space and time to work with. In the offensive zone, Wilmer has the ability to use his skating prowess to wheel around the offensive zone multiple times without being caught.
Wilmer’s transitional skating is a pleasure to watch, because he can effectively change direction without losing speed. Speaking on Wilmer’s speed, he could be even more elusive and dangerous with a little more explosiveness to his first few strides.
In the offensive zone, Jeremy Wilmer is definitely underrated when it comes to making things happen. He has really effective hands, and can make defenders and goalies pay the price when left with any time and space. His impressive skating abilities allow him to be extremely confident in the offensive zone, even more so with the puck on his stick.
Wilmer is such a creative thinker in the offensive zone. He has quite the knack for making some unorthodox passes to generate scoring opportunities, and operates at a decent rate of success. He’s able to keep defenders on their toes at pretty much all times due to his unpredictability.
In terms of offensive production, Wilmer is definitely a pass-first player, and quite often is the driving force in his linemate’s goals, as shown by averaging 0.50 primary assists per game in 2020/21. When it comes to shooting the puck, Wilmer’s shot is under-utilized.
When he chooses to shoot, he can be quite accurate from just about anywhere on the ice, especially in close. He scores the majority of his goals in and around the net, as he thrives on being a net front presence and batting home any loose pucks he can find.
One area of Wilmer’s game that has improved greatly in the past couple of seasons is his play in the defensive zone. Wilmer has developed a strong 200ft game and is commonly the first forward back to assist the defense. He’s a defensively sound player, and isn’t caught out of position too much. Wilmer does have a tendency to vacate the point and pinch down to assist the defenders in the corner, when needed.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of Wilmer’s defensive game is his relentlessness with tracking down attacking players and pestering them. There isn’t a lot of times where he can’t frustrate the opposing player and frustrate them into turning the puck over and/or drawing a penalty.
Wilmer is also willing to do pretty much anything to avoid the puck around his own net. He’s quite talented at breaking up opponent’s chances with a simple poke check, as well as blocking passing lanes with any body part he can. Wilmer’s also not afraid to sacrifice his body in order to redirect a shot.
As solid of an all-around player Jeremy Wilmer is, there are still a few aspects of his game that could use some fine-tuning. His controlled zone entries could use a little tidying up, as there are times where he tries to make a challenging pass, or just simply dumps the puck into the corner when there may be a better option. That could just be chalked up to some bad decisions due to fatigue, or perhaps the system the team was utilizing, but only time will tell.
Second, Wilmer could make his offensive game a little more difficult for the opposing defenders to stop by adding a little more explosiveness to his first couple of strides. Wilmer already does have some impressive pace for a 5’7 forward, but with a little more strength in his stride, he could be deadly on the rush.
Lastly, Wilmer is quite a creative player, but sometimes that creativity can end up in turnovers in all three zones of the ice. While it may not be a huge issue at the moment, but as he moves on to the NCAA next season and later on in his career, the talent will only get better, and those turnovers could prove costly. He may look to sacrifice a little bit of creativity for a lot more puck control and possession.
Overall, Jeremy Wilmer looks to be a talented, yet undersized forward. With the ridiculous stigma of smaller players not being able to hack it at the next level, these past few seasons seem to be debunking it, with the emergence of talents such as Cole Caufield, Alex DeBrincat and Johnny Gaudreau.
There’s no better time for a player like Jeremy Wilmer to showcase his talented, two-way skillset to the scouts and to carve himself out a nice career. He certainly has the offensive mindset and playmaking ability to do it, as well as the drive and motivation.
Although it’s still extremely early in his career, it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see Jeremy Wilmer be that mid-round steal that ends up becoming a solid, middle-six forward who can contribute in all areas of the ice. Whichever team decides to ignore his smaller frame, and give him a legitimate shot, should surely be excited to see him develop over the seasons to come.
2022 NHL Draft Update
After not being selected in the 2021 NHL Draft, Wilmer chose to forego his commitment to Boston University for another season. His rights were traded from the Waterloo Black Hawks to the Tri-City Storm in the USHL on August 3rd, 2021.
Wilmer was quoted as saying this in a post-trade interview: “I feel that I have gotten bigger, faster, and stronger since then, and I’m excited to see it translate into a game setting next year. I also feel I am ready to take that next step in the USHL and be a leader for this franchise on and off the ice. My goal is definitely to win the Clark Cup first and foremost and I think we have the pieces to do that. I want to show I can be a dominant player and also want to be taken next year in the NHL Draft. I will not stop working until I have accomplished those goals, and I am super excited to be able to do that in a Tri-City sweater.” – Jeremy Wilmer
Boy, did Wilmer certainly follow through with the statements he made in that quote. So far this season, he’s been an absolute force for Tri-City. As of April 17th, he currently sits 1st in the entire USHL based off points per game with 1.57. He’s racked up a staggering 23 goals and 68 assists for 91 points in 58 games. It’s simply amazing to see what an extra year of development can do for a player, not to mention the fact he’s been given a much larger role and significantly more ice time this season with the Storm. Wilmer seems to have worked out some of the kinks in his game that may have hindered his play a little bit in previous seasons. He seems to have shored up his struggles with executing controlled zone entries, and he’s reduced the number of turnovers from trying to be overly creative. His skating is good, however his explosiveness is still a work in progress at this moment, but it’s improved from last season.
Looking back on this report from almost one year ago, my prediction still stands true. Whichever team that may select Jeremy Wilmer at this summer’s Draft in Montreal will be getting a player with an incredible work ethic, amazing skills in the offensive zone, and a positive chip on his shoulder. It may still take a couple seasons or so of further development, but there’s a very strong chance we will see him able to carve out quite a nice pro career.
April 17, 2022
stats from InStat and EliteProspects
Prospect report written by Paul Zuk. If you would like to follow Paul on Twitter, his handle is @paulzuk_81.
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