First real day of Jets’ training camp is in the books

- September 12th, 2013

Is training camp over yet?

I kid, I kid.

The Winnipeg Jets held their first on-ice sessions on Thursday at MTS Iceplex and the opening scrimmage is already in the books.

After a long off-season, folks are eager to see how things are going to come together but let’s get serious here, there’s not much to determined just yet. That’s what the pre-season games are for.

The first day after the exhaustive physical tests is always a bit less energetic anyway, though veteran D Zach Bogosian delivered a couple of glass-rattling body checks during a scrimmage that saw Group A defeat Group B 3-1 on the strength of goals from Jacob Trouba (on a penalty shot wrister that knocked the water bottle off the net behind Michael Hutchinson), Mark Scheifele and Josh Morrissey.

For those keeping score (I know there are a few of you), that’s goals from each of the past three Jets’ first rounders. Blake Wheeler had the lone marker for Group B.

Nic Petan continues to impress me (and many others) with his hockey sense, vision and compete level. I watched him at the Memorial Cup (including one game live), the development camp and now in training camp. After a strong Young Stars Classic, it will be interesting to see him face NHL competition, even if it’s just the pre-season.

Petan has the potential to be a special player. Let’s leave it at that for now, but there will be further discussion as training camp moves along.

There was a scary incident in the game as C Adam Lowry went crashing into the end boards awkwardly but he got up and finished the session. Jets head coach Claude Noel said he seemed to be fine, but a follow-up on Friday might be required.

Not putting too much stock into the lines at this stage of the proceedings, but the scrimmage did provide the first look at the Scheifele-Evander Kane-Devin Setoguchi trio, though they weren’t together exclusively.

I think ultimately that’s a unit that needs to be tried out extensively to see if they can be productive together.

Scheifele has thought about the prospects of that as well.

“That’s obviously a goal,” he said. “Whoever I play with, I would work my hardest but to be able to play with two guys like that, unbelievable players, unbelievable scorers, and really good guys, it would be an honour to play with those guys and hopefully that happens.”

Scheifele talked about his expectations and about blocking out whatever outside pressure might be out there, saying he’s putting pressure on himself to perform the way he can but won’t be distracted by anything else.

“Every year I’ve wanted to make the team and it hasn’t happened yet but you have to keep your goals high,” said Scheifele “My goal is to stick with the Jets and be here all year. I don’t want anything else but that.”

I wrote about Scheifele’s quest as part of today’s extensive Sun package available at www.winnipegsun.com and in Friday’s paper.

My column is on Steinbach product Ian White’s quest to crack the Jets on a Pro Tryout Offer. It’s an uphill battle, but White is taking the right approach and he could force his way into the conversation with a strong camp.

Columnist Paul Friesen is focusing on Dustin Byfuglien, who addressed the media for the first time since arriving back in Winnipeg.

Byfuglien was in good spirits and it’s days like this that the folks in the press corps wish would happen a little more frequently.

He spoke openly about his quest to be an Olympian — saying “it would be nice to steal the gold from Canada” — along with his personal quest for consistency and the push for the Jets to become a playoff team.

Friesen is also doing a sidebar on Setoguchi.

I’m flying to Toronto Friday morning for the Kraft Hockeyville game, so sports editor Ted Wyman will be handling the skate. I banked a few interviews to turn into stories as well — including a feature on three former members of the Belleville Bulls that will be suiting up against the Washington Capitals at Yardmen Arena on Saturday — LW Eric Tangradi, G Eddie Pasquale, RW Austen Brassard.

Categories: Hockey

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