With the first pre-season game already close at hand, the Winnipeg Jets wrapped up the second day of the 2013-14 training camp.
Hundreds of fans turned out to MTS Iceplex to catch training camp’s Group B, led by the Jets’ usual top line of Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler, take on Group C, led by veteran Olli Jokinen and newly acquired winger Michael Frolik.
"He brings a lot," Jokinen said of Frolik, who GM Kevin Cheveldayoff picked up in a draft-day trade with the Chicago Blackhawks. The lean 6’1 forward is widely considered to be a likely winger for Jokinen as the season unfolds.
"He knows what it takes to be on a winning team. He knows how to play good hockey. He’s been there, he’s done that, and he brings a lot of speed to our lineup. He’ll probably have a little different role here than he did in Chicago, but… he’s a great player, he can score but at the same time he knows what it takes to be a part of a team."
Prospect Adam Lowry wasn’t on the ice for the tilt; the big centre slid hard into the boards during Thursday’s scrimmage and hustled off the ice when scrimmage ended, though afterward Jets coach Claude Noel thought he would be fine.
Now, about one-third of the players in camp will head to Belleville, Ont. where they will face the Washington Capitals in a pre-season Kraft Hockeyville game. For forward Eric Tangradi, a Philadelphia boy who played his junior years with the Belleville Bulls, it’s a homecoming of sorts, a return to the place he said "put a little Canadian" in him.
"To be able to go back is something very special," Tangradi said, noting he had been waiting and hoping to be on the roster that will fly to Belleville tonight. "I had an unbelievable family there that I lived with, and just the camaraderie of being on a team at 16 and 17 and loving the game of hockey… all they lived and watched was hockey."