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Jets rookies lauded, asked for encore

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PENTICTON – It’s a simple message, but it’s one coach Keith McCambridge delivered to the Winnipeg Jets rookies Monday night and hammered home again Tuesday morning at the South Okanagan Events Centre:

The 4-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks in the Young Stars tournament debut for the Jets was a dandy performance. Now do it all over again Tuesday night against the Edmonton Oilers.

"We want to see the same energy level," said McCambridge, the St. John’s IceCaps head coach who is working the Jets’ bench and running practises here.

"I really thought we came out and, to simplify things, we really out-worked San Jose in that first period. It got a way a bit in the second period, but we’re looking for consistency and see if the guys can put together back to back games like that.

"It’s another chance as a tool to evaluate."

Chris Carrozzi, the 21-year-old Ottawa product who spent most of last year with Gwinnett of the ECHL, will get the start against the Oilers. He’ll be attempting to follow-up the solid work of Edward Pasquale, who shut out the Sharks with a sparkling effort Monday.

As well, Jets’ brass will be looking for more of the same from first-round draft pick Mark Scheifele -- who was superb in Monday’s win with a goal and an assist – and linemates Jason Gregoire and Carl Klingberg.

McCambridge also singled out defenceman Zach Redmond, the former Ferris State star who is wearing the captain’s ‘C’ and right winger Austen Brassard, the club’s fifth-round draft pick this spring.

"I thought Brassard had a strong game from not seeing too much in the previous practices," he said. "And Eddie Pasquale... I watched him play in Chicago (with the Wolves), watched some tape this summer and he was someone who needed to have a strong game to make a statement and he did.

"And the Scheifele line... the offensive chances they were getting you can see why they’re at the level they are. Overall, a lot of strong first games."

The game against Edmonton will also give the Jets a first-hand look at Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the highly-touted Oiler draft pick selected first overall in the 2011 draft.

"I’ve heard a lot about him," said Redmond. "He’s a little bit younger than I am so I haven’t followed him a ton. But I heard he’s a great player and I’m definitely going to have to watch him when he’s on the ice."

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

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