Game 2 in Penticton goes tonight as the Winnipeg Jets rookies offer the opposition. Although still fairly new to the NHL (this time), the Jets are known for terrific youth and they have another good bunch this year.
LAST YEAR’S GAME TWO LINEUP AND COMMENTS
- Joey Benik—Chad Butcher—Patrick Russell: This is a line of older prospects (compared to the group), both Benik and Butcher were solid last game, Russell less so. We should watch the RW’s skating tonight.
- Collin Shirley—Carson Stadnyk—Jaedon Descheneau: Shirley had an eventful game last night, Stadnyk didn’t get to touch the puck much and the skill winger sees his first action tonight.
- Braden Christoffer—Kyle Platzer—Greg Chase: This line should be able to get some things done tonight, both wingers bring a rugged style and Platzer is a fine two-way winger. If Edmonton wins (I do not think they will), this trio will have a big game.
- Lane Bauer—Thomas Foster—Tomas Soustal: Although list as the 4line, this trio made end up playing a bigger role than the Stadnyk line. Although we might view this group as being superfluous, important evening for these young men.
- Caleb Jones—Matt Benning: This pairing was very strong one night ago and the coaching staff wants to see them again. Good arrows for both, bet Jones and Benning are in the mix for late games during the NHL exhibition schedule.
- Kyle Jenkins—Aaron Irving: Jenkins is an unsigned Hurricanes selection and Irving was part of the Oil Kings Memorial Cup winner. Five of six blue shone last night, so the pressure is on. Neither man played last evening.
- Ben Betker—Kayle Doetzel: Betker had a strong game last night, Doetzel is a giant stay-at-home blue from the Red Deer Rebels who plays his first game tonight.
- Dylan Wells: I am glad he gets the whole game, we know so little and this should be an excellent test.
THIS YEAR’S GAME TWO LINEUP
- Joe Gambardella-Chad Butcher-Kirill Maksimov
- Evan Polei-Ethan Szypula-Trey Fix-Wolansky
- Grayson Pawlenchuk-Davis Koch-Brandon Saigeon
- Luke Coleman-Lane Bauer-Steve Owre
- William Lagesson-Ethan Bear
- Dmitri Samorukov-Sahvan Khaira
- Liam Schioler-Austin Strand
- Stuart Skinner (Shane Starrett)
- The top line tonight features two of last night’s goal scorers and Gambardella who somehow didn’t cash on that follow-up chance on the Kailer Yamamoto rush. That should be the Oilers top line tonight.
- The second line features a curious player (Szypula) who Brock Otten tells us plays a big man’s game despite lack of size. Polei and Fix-Wolansky should give him plenty of support.
- Davis Koch did more to help himself than any other draft eligible player last night (to my eye) in Game One, picking up a couple of assists while playing on the most effective line.
- Lagesson-Bear should see plenty of action tonight, they are the most experienced defenders in the lineup.
- Sahvan Khaira is the most interesting free agent (for me) among this year’s invites. He’s a very physical player.
- Stuart Skinner gets the start tonight in front of a group that lacks experience and pedigree. That’s a good spot for a goalie to show well, we’ll see how it goes.
JETS PROJECTED LINEUP (VIA WINNIPEG SUN)
- Skyler McKenzie-Jansen Harkins-Mason Appleton
- Francis Beauvillier-Tyler Boland- Michael Spacek
- Mathieu Sevigny-Kristian Reichel-Jordy Stallard
- Cristiano DiGiacinto-Kameron Kielly-Kody McDonald
- Logan Stanley-Leon Gawanke
- Sami Niku-Luke Green
- Antoinie Crete Belzile-Michael Webster
- Jamie Phillips (Mikhail Berdin)
Some interesting names (Jansen Harkins, Logan Stanley, Skyler McKenzie, Francis Beauvillier) and I have no doubt a bunch of these names will eventually emerge as pro players of value (the Jets are excellent in procurement).
Word today that the Oilers are bringing Chris Kelly to main camp on a PTO. I thought he would return to the Ottawa Senators (there was some speculation this week) so this is an interesting turn. I’ve read quite a few tweets today about this being a favor to Kelly, but I think it is more likely an indication the Oilers are concerned about the penalty kill. Kelly has a lot of experience in this area and it is a need for the organization. In this way, the invite makes a lot of sense.