Harkins, Roslovic ready for whatever Jets’ future holds

Rookies don't lack for confidence

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Jack Roslovic and Jansen Harkins have the look of self-assured veterans, even though they have a distinct lack of facial hair and their pro experience is minuscule.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/09/2016 (2268 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Jack Roslovic and Jansen Harkins have the look of self-assured veterans, even though they have a distinct lack of facial hair and their pro experience is minuscule.

The 19-year-olds, a pair of centres chosen 22 spots apart by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2015 NHL Draft, are sizing up their future with the big club and, like most young players, they’re in a hurry to get where they’re going.

“Last year, (I had) a lot of nerves and I really wanted to do my best and do well and I was really focused,” Harkins said after an informal workout at the MTS Iceplex Wednesday morning. “I think I took a little of the experience for granted, and this time I’m just going to really enjoy it this year and play some good hockey.”

‘Last year, (I had) a lot of nerves and I really wanted to do my best and do well and I was really focused. I think I took a little of the experience for granted, and this time I’m just going to really enjoy it this year and play some good hockey’– Jets’ prospect Jansen Harkins 

Picked 47th overall two summers ago, Harkins is destined to return to the Western Hockey League’s Prince George Cougars for his final season of junior, but he’s keen on making a lasting impression as he joins Roslovic and other Jets prospects at the Young Stars Classic in Penticton, B.C., later this week.

“Obviously, being here another year (I’m) more comfortable and I’m going to try and use that on the ice and play some good hockey, make some plays and play my game,” said the 6-1, 195-pounder, who played six games with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose, registering a goal and two assists as a late-season call-up in 2015-16.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Jack Roslovic may end up on the big club or playing with the London Knights of the OHL. Either is fine by him.

Roslovic, meanwhile, has no pro seasoning but a reputation as an elite scorer. Chosen 25th overall in 2015, he left Miami University (Ohio) after a stellar performance at Winnipeg’s Development Camp this summer.

But signing a three-year entry-level contract worth US$3.4 million with the Jets, Roslovic said, was never a done deal heading into the July event.

He finished his freshmen season at Miami amid speculation he was preparing to forgo his college eligibility to play for the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights.

“I knew I was going to come to development camp and have the option to sign (with the Jets),” said Roslovic. “After development camp and after talking to the management and coaches, I thought it was best.”

He apparently had no trouble convincing the Jets he was ready.

“I think it was (a) mutual (decision),” said Roslovic. “(The Jets) are a really good organization and the fact is they really work with their young players and really give us the option to do what’s best for us. They do a really good job consulting with us.”

The Jets have three options with Roslovic — keep him with the big club or assign him to the minors or the OHL.

Playing with the powerhouse Knights is a distinct possibility considering the glut of good young forwards Winnipeg has in its stable. Roslovic said that’s nothing to worry about.

“No, it’s all part of development,” said the 6-1, 195-pounder. “The organization knows what they’re doing and they’ll put me wherever’s right.”

Harkins, on the other hand, knows his immediate future is in major junior. He also hopes the 2016-17 season includes a stint on Canada’s national junior squad. He played last season for Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and the under-18 worlds, but did not get an invite to Canada’s summer evaluation camp. He’s still planning to make the team.

“That was a bit disappointing but I can’t control that,” said Harkins. “All I can control is what I can do. I let that go. My focus is to play my game and hopefully they take a good look at me and… I make the team.”

NOTES: The Jets rookie camp prospects will practise today at the MTS Iceplex before leaving for Penticton. The baby Jets will play the Calgary Flames rookies Friday at 4 p.m., the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday at 2 p.m. and the Edmonton Oilers Monday at 11 a.m.

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.ca

 

2016 Young Stars Classic Winnipeg Jets roster

FORWARDS

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Winnipeg Jets Kyle Connor skates at the MTS Iceplex.

Kyle Connor (19, Shelby Township, Mich.) — 2015 first-round pick (17th overall) from the University of Michigan. Signed with the Jets this summer and looking to crack the big club but might begin his pro career with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL.

Jimmy Lodge (21, Dowington, Pa.) — 2013 third-round pick (84th overall) from Saginaw of the OHL. Split the 2015-16 between the Moose and Tulsa of the ECHL. Likely headed back to the Moose.

Brendan Lemieux (20, Denver) — 2014 second-round pick (31st overall) from Barrie of the OHL. Played five games with the Moose at the end of the AHL season. He’ll likely start with the Moose this season but could surprise and earn a spot on the Jets’ bottom six.

Jack Roslovic (19, Columbus) — 2013 first-round pick (25th overall) from U.S. National Development Team. Could play for the Moose but is eligible to play in London of the OHL.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Jansen Harkins is planning on not letting nerves get the best of him this year. ‘Obviously, being here another year (I’m) more comfortable and I’m going to try and use that on the ice...’

Jansen Harkins (19, North Vancouver) — 2015 second-round pick (47th overall) from Prince George of the OHL. He’ll likely return to the WHL this season.

Axel Blomqvist (21, Osby, Sweden) — Signed in 2013 as an undrafted free agent from Lethbridge of the WHL. Split last season between Tulsa and the Moose. He’ll likely play in the AHL again.

Jordy Stallard (18, Brandon) — 2016 fifth-round pick (127 overall) from Calgary of the WHL. Will return to the Hitmen.

Chase De Leo (20, La Mirada, Calif.) — 2014 fourth-round pick, (99th overall) from Portland of the WHL. Played with the Moose last season and dressed for a pair of Jets games. Likely headed back to the AHL.

Brandon Denham (24, Milton, Ont.) — Signed as a free agent in March by the Moose and played nine games for the club. He’ll try to make the AHL squad.

Michael Spacek (19, Marianske Lazne, Czech Republic) — 2014 fourth-round pick (108th overall) out of Czech Republic junior. Played most of last season with Red Deer of the WHL and will likely return there.

Jiri Fronk (22, Louny, Czech Republic) — Signed as a free agent by the Moose in March 2015 and spent time in the AHL and ECHL. Will battle for a spot on the Moose roster.

Antoine Waked (20, St-Bruno, Que.) — Undrafted and invited to Jets rookie camp after three seasons in the QMJHL with Rouyn-Noranda. He’s in tough to earn his first pro deal.

Matteo Gennaro (19, St. Albert, Alta.) — 2015 seventh-round pick (203rd overall) from Prince Albert of the WHL. He finished year with Calgary Hitmen and will likely head back there.

 

DEFENCE

Luke Green (18, Halifax) — 2016 third-round pick (79th overall) from Saint John of the QMJHL. He’ll return to junior.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Jan Kostalek

Jan Kostalek (21, Prague) — 2013 fourth-round pick (114th overall) from Czech junior. Played bulk of last season with Manitoba of the AHL and will likely suit up with the Moose this winter.

Nelson Nogier (20, Saskatoon) — 2014 fourth-round pick (101st overall) from Saskatoon of the WHL. Signed by the Jets in June and looking to make the Moose or could go back to junior for his overage season.

Logan Stanley (18, Waterloo, Ont.) — 2016 first-round pick (18th overall) from Windsor of the OHL. He’ll return for another year of junior.

Tyson Wilson (25, Brockville, Ont) — signed as a free agent by the Moose after NCAA career at Robert Morris University and played three games with Manitoba last season. Should vie for a spot on the farm squad’s blue line.

Kristians Rubins (18, Latvia) — the Jets invited the undrafted European rearguard to their rookie camp after he spent two seasons with Vasteras-IK of Sweden’s second-tier league. Remains to be seen where the youngster fits in, if at all.

Matt Murphy (21, Fredericton) — Undrafted after parts of five seasons in the QMJHL and looking to earn a pro deal.

 

GOALTENDERS

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Goaltender Jamie Phillips

Jamie Phillips (23, Chateauguay, Que.) — 2012 seventh-round pick (190th overall) from Powell River of the BCHL and went on to play four years at Michigan Tech. Signed two-year entry level deal in July and hoping to earn a spot on the Moose.

Mikhail Berdin (18, Ufa, Russia) — 2016 sixth-round pick (157th overall) out of Russian junior. He’ll play with the Sioux Falls junior squad of the United States Hockey League.

— Jason Bell

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.

History

Updated on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 10:44 PM CDT: cutline edited

Updated on Thursday, September 15, 2016 12:15 PM CDT: Name fixed.

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