Jets call Kosmachuk up from Moose
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/03/2016 (2345 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A sixth prospect this season makes his NHL debut for the Winnipeg Jets tonight.
Right-winger Scott Kosmachuk goes into the lineup against the Nashville Predators (7 p.m., TSN3, TSN1290), recalled on an emergency basis because winger Joel Armia has a lower-body injury that will keep him out at least a week.
Kosmachuk, the team’s 2012 third-round pick, will skate on a line with centre Adam Lowry and Chris Thorburn.
The 22-year-old from Toronto was trying to contain himself after this morning’s game-day skate at the MTS Centre.
“It’s such an honour,” said Kosmachuk, who has 14 goals and 27 points for the AHL’s Moose this season. “I’ve worked my whole life for this. It’s something I’ve dreamed of and it’s finally happening.
“It’s nice the Moose have moved into Winnipeg here, nice and close like this, and when I got the call, Keith (McCambridge, Moose coach) brought me into his room and a bunch of the staff were there and congratulated me when they told me I was going up.
“It’s an awesome feeling.”
Kosmachuk was a shooter in his last two years of junior, scoring 84 goals in that time in the OHL.
He said he wants to “Just bring some energy. The Jets are in need of some help here and I’m looking to bring that.”
Kosmachuk’s family cheering section won’t be large tonight.
“It was a little bit short notice but my mom’s managing to make it out but unfortunately my dad’s a little bit tied up,” he said. “Hopefully there will be more to come.”
Lowry said today that a teammate’s first NHL game is no ordinary day.
“I think it’s going to be really exciting for him, obviously,” Lowry said. “HIs first NHL game, it’s going to be a dream come true. There certainly are going to be some nerves. I still remember mine. I was really nervous but there was a lot of excitement and anticipation. You’re counting down the hours before the game begins.
“It takes a couple of shifts to really settle down. The biggest thing for Chris and I, playing with Scott tonight, is talking to him and making him feel comfortable out there. I really think it helps having the Moose here and playing similar systems.
“We have a lot of guys that have come into this lineup, new faces, with J.C. (Lipon) coming in now, and Josh (Morrissey) playing his first game. You’re starting to see some of the development that’s taking place.”
Jets coach Paul Maurice said he reminded Kosmachuk to enjoy every second of it and that he’s used the same pre-game chat that he normally uses for first-timers. (This season, that’s also been Nic Petan, Morrissey, Connor Hellebuyck, Nikolaj Ehlers and Lipon).
“The other part of it is if you score three, you’re not getting a 10-year deal and if you’re minus-two, you’re not going to the (ECHL),” Maurice said. “So just go out and play and we’ll work on things but don’t think about anything else but playing the game you know how to play.”
Tonight, the Jets, 13 points behind Minnesota and only 1-3-1 in their last five, take on one of the Central Division’s stronger teams.
The Predators have one worry, that centre Ryan Johansen hasn’t scored in more than a month (14 games). It’s bothered them so much that they’re 8-0-4 in their last 12 and, with 78 points now, have virtually locked down a playoff spot.
With all the new faces and the increasing number of injuries, Maurice was asked today about the coaching challenges he’s faced this season, which is sure to end outside of the playoffs.
“I’m quite a bit more comfortable today,” the coach said. “And I’m not talking about my record… more comfortable than I was in September because the names that were on the board in September, you weren’t sure how the pieces were even going to shake out at the end of camp or how they would fit or what they would look like four months later.
“I’ve got a far better idea of what the pieces, the young pieces we have, how they’re developing and what path they’re on, where, come July 1, where they sit on your roster and what you’re comfortable with and what your needs are. And then even looking out, there are two or three guys from training camp last year that kind of make the radar, that you think, ‘I don’t know when they’re going to play or the Winnipeg Jets but I’m pretty sure they’re going to play for the Winnipeg Jets and I’m hoping at the end of training camp I’ve got two or three more guys on the back burner as well.”