Jake Kolodjashnij (Launceston)
Height: 192 cm
Weight: 88 kg
Position: Key Defender
Player Comparison: Cale Hooker
Strengths: Rebounding, link-up player, versatility
Weaknesses: Not a great shut-down player, disposal needs work
Jake Kolodjashnij is one of the better key defenders from this draft, but he’s unique in the way he plays the game. He’s offensively minded and would be best suited to playing as the third tall in an unaccountable role. Having said that, his kicking isn’t lethal, but if it was he’d be talked about as a potential second round pick.
Kolodjashnij is solid in many areas. He’s good in the air, taking plenty of contested marks and he loves going for the spoil in a big pack situation. He’s a great uncontested mark and plays the lose man role well. As an unaccountable defender, he can run and carry the ball and his disposal is solid enough to ensure he isn’t a liability when he’s used in a chain.
Across the National Championships, Kolodjashnij was forced to play in a more defensive role. He seemed a little uncomfortable, but his size allowed him to perform well against most forwards. He needs to work on his positioning and learning how to defend when he’s playing on a lead up forward.
Rebounding is Kolodjashnij’s best asset. He’s not overly quick but he has the tendency to break lines. He also likes to drift up to the wings to be a marking target in a chain of kicks. His handballing is superb and he’ll often give off a handball to find a better ball user. He knows his limitations, but he has a very solid set of basic skills to work with.
Kolodjashnij has the height to play in a key post, but he’s also got the athleticism to play as the third tall or even on a wing. The third tall forward role is becoming increasingly popular, and players like that are hard to match up on.
In the Bound For Glory News Rising Stars Phantom Draft, Kolodjashnij was selected by Carlton with pick 82. Like most of the picks at this region, they are speculative but with his skills and attributes, Kolodjashnij should become a very handy player. In saying that, Kolodjashnij is expected to go a bit higher around the third or fourth round with his brother potentially going first round.
While Tasmania can often be overlooked due to the fact it is a division two side, the current crop of Tasmanian players is expected to be the strongest in a number of years with no less than five expected to go. Along with his brother Kade, Zac Webster, Eli Templeton and Toby Nankervis, Jake Kolodjashnij is expected to make the transition from the Apple Isle into the AFL.
It might take three or four years before we start seeing Kolodjashnij playing consistent football. If he’s able to build up a tank and put on a little more size, he’ll be a match up nightmare for forwards, as he could play on just about anybody. Without a doubt, he is definetely one to watch for the future.