Mark Scheifele and Jacob Trouba are the Winnipeg Jets’ prospects with the best chance at competing for spots on the big club this year.
That’s according to TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie, who is Penticton, B.C., for the Canucks Young Stars Classic, which the Jets’ prospects are competing in.
The Jets played their first game of the five-team tournament on Friday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Neither Scheifele, the 20-year-old center, or Trouba, the 19-year-old defenseman, registered a point in the 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks prospects.
Scheifele, who has 11 games of NHL experience with the Jets after being selected seventh overall in 2011, had a team-high six shots on goal.
Trouba, Winnipeg’s ninth overall selection the following year, was a minus-one.
Scheifele is the veteran of the Jets group in Penticton, having spent time in Winnipeg in each of the last two seasons.
That first year I felt a little awestruck… not knowing what to expect, not knowing how to adapt to playing against guys like (Dustin) Byfuglien and (Zach) Bogosian and huge guys like that,” Scheifele told the Winnipeg Free Press.
“Now that I’ve went through it two years and seen what it takes to handle playing against big guys like that, I definitely think my mental side has gone a big way since my first year.”
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.
As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.
The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.
In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.
Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.
He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.