Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Great Dane slated for first 'Peg visit

Jets' top pick to attend prospect camp

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Nikolaj Ehlers will be a one-of-a-kind when the Winnipeg Jets begin their third development camp Monday at the MTS Iceplex.

The slick 18-year-old from Denmark, who racked up 104 points with Halifax in the QMJHL in the season just finished, will the organization's only first-round draft choice in attendance, selected just last week at the annual entry draft in Philadelphia. Winnipeg chose him ninth overall.

The franchise's other recent first-round picks will not be present. Mark Scheifele (2011) and Jacob Trouba (2012) have put in a full year in the NHL so no longer qualify as prospects.

The team's first pick of 2013, defenceman Josh Morrissey, played 112 games during the 2012-13 season and is being granted some time to catch his breath after playing with the AHL's St. John's IceCaps into late June in the Calder Cup final.

Six of the seven players chosen at last week's draft will be in attendance next week.

The Jets' future should be prominent next week.

From the 2013 draft, centre Nic Petan and goalie Eric Comrie will be on the ice at the Iceplex, as will St. John's IceCaps winger J.C. Lipon and big defenceman Tucker Poolman, who will debut at the University of North Dakota this fall.

From the 2012 class, four picks will be in attendance, including goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who came out of UMass-Lowell after two years to sign a contract in April, and winger Scott Kosmachuk, who rifled 49 goals to help his OHL Guelph Storm to a league title this season.

From the Jets' first draft class, 2011, centre Adam Lowry is scheduled to be in Winnipeg next week. He has just finished his rookie pro season with the IceCaps, scoring 17 goals and 33 points.

A total of 38 players have been invited for the week. The Jets are bringing in numerous free-agent prospects who have not been drafted, including Winnipeg's Nolan Zajac, a defenceman with the Denver University Pioneers.

The camp is not a strict evaluation program -- it's more about acclimatization to the franchise -- but it can lead to good things. Forward Axel Blomqvist, who went undrafted in 2013, attended last summer's camp and then after his performance at the rookie tournament in B.C. in September, was signed to a contract.

Ice time for the camp begins on Monday at 2:15 at the Iceplex and the sessions move to the morning for the rest of the week, concluding Friday. All sessions are open to the public.

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 4, 2014 C2

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