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This article was published 26/6/2015 (2182 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
SUNRISE, Fla. — Jack Roslovic was planning on calling the father of one of his linemates’ for a little primer on all things Winnipeg Jets.
Roslovic, selected 25th overall in the first round by the Jets on Friday night played on a line with the U.S. Under-18 Development team this season between wingers Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk.
The Columbus, Ohio-born Roslovic had 27 goals and 79 points and is the first player from his hometown ever to be selected in the first round. Roslovic was well aware of the impact Keith Tkachuk had on the Jets during his time in Winnipeg.
"You bet. I think I’ll be calling Keith tonight," said Roslovic. "I thought I was going to be selected in the range I got picked in. It was a tribute to my year. No teams really tell you too much about where they might want to take you. But I met with Winnipeg three times, and I guess that was a good indication."
The book on Roslovic is he’s just hitting his stride, and his growth as a player is just beginning. He’s committed to the University of Miami-Ohio and heading there this fall.
"I had Blue Jackets season tickets right from the beginning and I loved watching Rick Nash when I was growing up," said the 18-year-old. "It means a ton to be a trailblazer for Columbus hockey. It’s something I want to bring back to the city and maybe show kids that you don’t need a big hockey market to succeed. It’s about your work and what you put into it. It’s pretty awesome, I’m a little relieved. It’s definitely a stressful week, even though you don’t think it is."
Roslovic won gold medals with Team USA at both the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge in 2014 and at the Under-18 World Championship in 2015.
At the Under-18s, Roslovic had six goals and 11 points.
Both Matthews and Tkachuk are highly rated players heading into next year’s draft and Roslovic says playing with them worked to his benefit.
"That obviously makes the game a little easier. They can move at high speeds and make plays at high speeds. It was special," said Roslovic. "I’m a skilled forward who gets up and down the rink pretty fast, can make plays and play an energy role as well."
Some older neighbourhood kids in Columbus got Roslovic hooked on hockey.
"I was the younger kid in the group of kids who taught me how to play. So they threw me in net, and I kind of learned the game. You got to see it from more points of view and it was fun," he said.