TALKING about the weight gain of a certain Winnipeg Jet this week might make the team's brass cringe, but here's where packing on the extra pounds gets a thumbs up from coaches and management:
First-round draft pick Mark Schiefele is weighing in a about 10 pounds heavier, but it's all muscle.
"It was probably the best summer I've ever had in my life," Schiefele told the Barrie Examiner this week. "It's something I'll always remember, but as (Barrie Colts head coach Dale Hawerchuk) told me the easy part is over.
"There's a lot more hard work, but I'm willing to put it in. A lot of the days were jam-packed with working out and on the ice. It was fun just to be drafted. I kept a smile on the whole time, just because I'd look back and I'd kind of get the chills.
"I (managed to) put on a few pounds of muscle, so it was a good summer. I could be up more, but I lost a bit the last few weeks doing a lot more cardio."
Schiefele will report to Jets' rookie camp next week along with some of the top prospects in the organization before they head out to Penticton, B.C. and the Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Tournament.
The Jets' top rookies will hold two practices at the MTS Iceplex on Saturday, Sept. 10 (2 p.m.) and Sunday, Sept. 11 (10 a.m.) before flying out to Penticton that evening. They'll play three games there against prospects from the San Jose Sharks, Edmonton Oilers and Canucks before returning home for the opening of main camp on Sept. 17.
The team's first exhibition games -- split-squad contests against the Columbus Blue Jackets -- go Sept. 20 at the MTS Centre and Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
The Jets have invited 22 players to their rookie camp, including Schiefele and fellow 2011 draft choices Adam Lowry, Zach Yuen and Austen Brassard. Also participating will be two Manitobans: former University of North Dakota star Jason Gregoire of Winnipeg and Brandon's Shayne Wiebe, Swedish prospect Carl Klingberg and two goalies: Chris Carrozzi, who played 47 games in the ECHL last year, and Edward Pasquale, who appeared in 24 games for the AHL's Chicago Wolves.
To see the full rookie camp roster, visit: http://jets.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=73038
JERSEY NOTE: The Jets sent out a press release Friday to clarify an important component to their jersey unveiling on Tuesday, Sept. 6: it is an invitation-only event not open to the public because it is on a secured military base.
ANOTHER HALL FOR DALE: The Buffalo Sabres announced this week that Hawerchuk and long-time announcer Rick Jeanneret will be inducted into the team's hall of fame. Both were selected for "their outstanding contributions to the sport of hockey and the Buffalo Sabres organization."
Hawerchuk led the Sabres in scoring for three years after being traded to Buffalo from the Jets and completed his hall of fame career with stops in St. Louis and Philadelphia.
And how's this for perfect timing: the pair will be inducted in a pre-game ceremony before a contest against the Jets on Nov. 8.
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