Fans to see Jets’ draft acquisitions at camp this week


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The Winnipeg Jets are wasting no time in showing off their haul from the NHL Draft in Chicago on the weekend.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/06/2017 (1980 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Winnipeg Jets are wasting no time in showing off their haul from the NHL Draft in Chicago on the weekend.

All eight teenagers selected last Friday and Saturday will be in the city this week as the Jets hold their annual summer development camp at the Bell MTS Iceplex. The event begins Monday with on-ice testing, continues Tuesday through Thursday with on-ice sessions and wraps up Friday with a scrimmage game. 

All sessions are open to the public. A total of 34 players — 18 forwards, 12 defencemen and four goalies — will be in attendance. The Winnipeg Jets selected 6-4, 209-pound Finnish winger Kristian Vesalainen 24th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft on Friday night.

Many eyes will be on the latest recruits, including Finnish power forward Kristian Vesalainen. He was selected by the Jets with the 24th-overall pick. The other new kids on the block include defenceman Dylan Samberg, defenceman Johnny Kovacevic, forward Santeri Virtanen, defenceman Leon Gawanke, goalie Arvid Holm, forward Skyler McKenzie and defenceman Croix Evingson.

In addition to those fresh faces, there will also be a number of top prospects from previous drafts, including 2015 first-round selections Kyle Connor and Jack Roslovic. Both made their pro debuts last season with the Jets and the Manitoba Moose. Forward Brendan Lemieux, who had his first full pro season with the Moose cut short due to injury, will also be on the ice.

Defenceman Logan Stanley, fresh off his Memorial Cup win with Windsor, Ont., will also participate. He was selected by the Jets with their other first-round pick last summer.

Highly touted defenceman Tucker Poolman, who just turned pro after playing at the University of North Dakota, will be in Winnipeg but won’t be on the ice because he is recovering from off-season shoulder surgery. He is expected to be ready in time for main training camp this fall. Forward Jordy Stallard is also recovering from a shoulder injury and won’t suit up.

Jets head coach Paul Maurice said the organization will tweak how they run the development camp this season.

“Our coaches, NHL guys, are going to spend time on the ice on the teaching days. We’re going to come off the hammer on them, we’re not going to try to show them how hard you’ve got to work. More work on some of the skills,” Maurice told Free Press hockey writer Jason Bell this past weekend in Chicago.

Maurice said it’s important for staff to use the time to get to know the young players while focusing on many of the small details that can help make the jump to pro hockey.

“We’ll scrimmage on the last one, let the fans have some fun if they want to watch these kids, but we’re going to use this time for the coaches to get an opportunity to know them a little. Because at the main camp, you don’t. You bring close to 50 guys in and you don’t get to spend a lot of time with the fifth-round pick who is going back to junior, so we want to use the development camp time to start those relationships,” he said.

There will also be off-ice sessions with players dealing with things like nutrition, fitness and even media relations.

Once completed, players will disperse to continue their own training programs for the rest of the summer. They will reconvene in early September to prepare for the annual Young Stars tournament in British Columbia, which leads into the start of full training camp.



2017 Development Camp Roster

Goaltenders: Arvid Holm, Cole Kehler, Jake Kielly and Colton Phinney

Defencemen: Jacob Cedarholm, Chris Dienes, Croix Evingson, Leon Gawanke, Jack Glover, Luke Green, Johnathan Kovacevic, Sami Niku, Nelson Nogier, Dylan Samberg, Logan Stanley

Forwards: Mason Appleton, Francis Beauvillier, Kyle Connor, Erik Foley, C.J. Franklin, Jansen Harkins, Ryan Kuffner, Brendan Lemieux, Skyler McKenzie, Jack Roslovic, Michael Spacek, Jared Spooner, Nico Sturm, Alex Tonge, Matt Ustaski, Santeri Virtanen, Kristian Vesalainen

Attending but not participating due to injury: Tucker Poolman, Jordy Stallard


Mike McIntyre

Mike McIntyre
Sports columnist

Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.


Updated on Sunday, June 25, 2017 3:39 PM CDT: Adds quotes and details

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