PENTICTON, B.C. -- Expectations, dangerous as they can be, are not lower this year for Nikolaj Ehlers at the Canucks Young Stars Classic.

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This article was published 14/9/2015 (2271 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

PENTICTON, B.C. -- Expectations, dangerous as they can be, are not lower this year for Nikolaj Ehlers at the Canucks Young Stars Classic.

The 19-year-old Dane, the Winnipeg Jets' first-round selection in the 2014 draft, was a sparkling highlight at last year's edition of the tournament at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Nik Ehlers


Nik Ehlers

He scored three goals, wowed most in attendance and added a nifty shootout marker in one of the Jets' wins.

Optimism about his future was soaring.

This year, it's been a flat beginning -- zero points in two losses so far -- and flat is not what Ehlers normally does.

He put up 205 points in two junior seasons in the QMJHL. Production is his thing, and though there has been nothing in the way of official declarations, a spot on the Jets' NHL roster seemed to be waiting for him this fall.

And may still be, for two games at a September rookie tournament surely don't derail anything.

"Of course you want to score some points and it's always like that," Ehlers said Sunday after the young Jets scored one goal for the second straight game and lost 4-1 to the prospects of the Vancouver Canucks. "These have been the first two games and it's always tough in the beginning of the year.

"I feel from the first game to the second game, I played better. So I just take game after game and look forward to the next one."

Ehlers was zipping around the ice Sunday and to his credit, made fewer risky drop passes. So there's that.

"I felt better on the ice and played better," he said of Sunday's outing. "I feel OK with what I did today. It's only the second game and I think the guys worked hard out there today.

"I also know that all the other guys are fired up for the game tomorrow and we want to win."

Ehlers and his mates meet the Edmonton Oilers today at 1:30 p.m. CT. The Oilers have met and exceeded expectations here. So far, they have scored 14 goals in two games.

"Play good, individually, and get a win with the guys," Ehlers said, asked what his goals were for Game 3 of the tournament.

Sunday, Ehlers did grab some attention, but it was for being on the wrong side of a dangerous hit.

In the offensive zone, he was cross-checked into the boards from behind by Vancouver's Jordan Subban in the first period.

"It was a bit unlucky," Ehlers said later. "I was down low and trying to turn and skate away from him. He pushed me. Stuff happens. That's it.

"Everything's good. It hurt for a bit but I'm good."

After the foul, Ehlers' linemate Brendan Lemieux wasted no time flying into the fray to grab and start whaling away on Subban.

"He's a great friend on and off the ice," Ehlers said of Lemieux. "It feels very good to know you have a guy like him to back you up when stuff like that happens.

"I obviously said 'thanks.' Everything's good."