Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Prospects to tangle with western rivals

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Winnipeg Jets will join with the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks to stage another Young Stars Classic tournament for their prospects this September.

The games will be played again in Penticton, B.C., between Sept. 12-15.

The Jets' prospects will face the Flames' prospects in the tournament's opening game on the 12th.

Winnipeg also meets Vancouver on the 14th and Edmonton on the 15th.

Tickets for the event go on sale July 11 at noon and will be available at www.valleyfirsttix.com or by phone at 1-877-763-2849.

 

Kapanen remembers

Longtime NHL right-winger Sami Kapanen is at the draft with his son Kasperi and said he'd love for his son to get the opportunity to play for a former coach.

Kapanen was drafted by the Hartford Whalers in 1995 and played there and in Carolina after the team moved under a young head coach named Paul Maurice, who's now the coach of the Winnipeg Jets.

"Mo was one of the best coaches I ever had," Kapanen said Thursday, chatting with the Free Press. "He had a way of speaking to you that was calm but strong. He didn't try to pound his fist. He tried to reach you. He had a great personality for a coach. I'd love it if my son could play for him."

It may be within the realm of possibilities.

Kasperi Kapanen, a slick winger with speed and great instincts around the net, is ranked No. 1 among all European skaters by Central Scouting. TSN's Craig Button has him ranked 13th overall in the draft.

 

Checking in on Stastny

The courting period -- a new provision of the CBA struck in 2013 -- for unrestricted free agents began earlier this week. Teams are allowed to contact those pending UFAs but are not permitted to strike any deals until next Tuesday, when the annual spending derby begins.

"We did speak to quite a few pending UFAs," Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said Thursday. "But as far as characterizing who, I don't know that that's fair to say at this point in time."

The Jets GM said he believed there was a lot of talking between a lot of teams and agents, none of it unusual. It was reported Thursday that among the players Cheveldayoff talked to was the camp of Colorado centre Paul Stastny. An ESPN report said 15 teams have contacted Stastny.

 

Second-rounder wanted?

Winnipeg holds the No. 9 selection for tonight's first round of the draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

In total, the Jets have seven picks at this seven-round draft; no second-round pick (went to Minnesota in last year's deal for Devin Setoguchi) and two fourth-round picks (added an extra in the Alexei Ponikarovsky trade with New Jersey).

It's believed, among the many things Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is working on this week, he's looking to acquire a second-round pick.

The second through seventh rounds take place starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

 

-- Tim Campbell and Gary Lawless

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 27, 2014 C2

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