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The Runway Blog
POSTED ON Thursday, 06.23.2016 / 12:30 PM CT



The Winnipeg Jets will once again participate in the sixth annual Young Stars Classic, held Sept. 16-19 at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, British Columbia.

The four-team, round-robin tournament will feature prospects from the Jets, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks.

Tournament ticket packages include all six games for $60. VIP and Premium VIP ticket packages are also available for $90 and $275 respectively. For information and details on what VIP packages include please visit canucks.com/youngstars and SOEC.ca. Tickets are available online at ValleyFirstTix.com, by phone at 1-877-763-2849, in person at the South Okanagan Events Centre Valley First Box Office.

Jets schedule:

Sept. 16 - Jets vs. Flames (6:00pm CT)
Sept. 18 - Jets vs. Oilers (4:00pm CT)
Sept. 19 - Jets vs. Canucks (1:30pm CT)

Each game will be streamed live, right here on WinnipegJets.com.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 04.30.2016 / 10:15 PM CT
By Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick) - WinnipegJets.com / The Runway


General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff isn’t usually superstitious.

But when it came to the ever popular draft lottery simulator, it was a different story. That he wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.

He just wanted to get lucky that one time it truly mattered.

Incredibly, it happened. With less than a 1-in-10 chance of doing so, the Jets won the second of two draws and now hold the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

“It’s a big, big day,” Cheveldayoff said, still abuzz over the phone following the broadcast. “It’s a great opportunity for us to pick a player that’s going to be a foundation piece for this franchise moving forward.”

Read on...

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POSTED ON Saturday, 04.30.2016 / 7:15 PM CT
By Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick) - WinnipegJets.com / The Runway


The Winnipeg Jets have won the second overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, jumping up four spots from No. 6 with a bit of luck in Saturday's draft lottery.

The Jets' lucky numbers were 5-10-7-14.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, who had the best odds coming in at 20.0%, won the No. 1 pick, while the Columbus Blue Jackets were also victorious, moving up to No. 3.

The Jets had a 7.5% chance to land the first pick, but ultimately won the second draw, where they had a 7.8% chance to win.

The order of selection for the first 14 drafting positions in the first round, only, is as follows:

1. Toronto
2. Winnipeg
3. Columbus
4. Edmonton
5. Vancouver
6. Calgary
7. Arizona
8. Buffalo
9. Montreal
10. Colorado
11. New Jersey
12. Ottawa
13. Carolina
14. Boston

More to come...

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POSTED ON Saturday, 04.30.2016 / 11:45 AM CT
By Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick) - WinnipegJets.com / The Runway


The NHL Draft Lottery is now just a few hours away, and tonight, for the first time ever, three separate draws will determine the first, second and third overall selections.

The Jets can either move up into the Top 3, stay at No. 6, or fall back into seventh, eighth or ninth. (Click here for a full rundown.)

Here's how it works:

The lottery, which has a 'Deal or No Deal'-type flair, with its Hollywood stage and oversized envelopes carefully unfurled by Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, actually involves a bit of math. What you might not know is that the machine is NOT filled with 100, 200 or even 1000 ping pong balls bearing the logos of the possible winners. Instead, 14 balls numbered one to 14 are placed in the drum and drawn in 10-second intervals to produce a four-number combination. Each team has been assigned the number combinations proportional to their odds. With a 7.5% chance to win the No. 1 pick, the Jets own 75 of the 1001 possible combinations (11, 12, 13, 14 is classified as a re-draw).

Read on to see the Jets’ lucky (and hopefully winning) numbers, courtesy of the NHL's official look-up table...

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.27.2016 / 1:05 PM CT
By Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick) - WinnipegJets.com / The Runway


Jets prospects Michael Spacek, Nelson Nogier and the Memorial Cup host Red Deer Rebels earned a 6-2 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings in Game 3 of the WHL Eastern Conference Championship series Tuesday.

Spacek tallied two points (1G, 1A), while Nogier recorded one assist in the win.

Brandon now leads the best-of-seven series 2-1, with Game 4 going tonight in Red Deer.

Spacek – a fourth-round pick in the 2015 Draft – now has three goals and 13 points in 15 playoff games after finishing second in team scoring with 54 points (18G, 36A) in the regular season. Nogier, meanwhile, now has two goals and two helpers.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.20.2016 / 11:15 AM CT
By Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick) - WinnipegJets.com / The Runway


Jets prospects Michael Spacek, Nelson Nogier and the Red Deer Rebels defeated the Regina Pats 2-1 in Game 7 of their second-round series Tuesday, and will now face the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Eastern final of the Western Hockey League playoffs.

The first two games of the best-of-seven series will be played Friday and Saturday in Brandon, both beginning at 7:30pm CT. The winner of that set will advance to the WHL Championship Series against either the Seattle Thunderbirds or the defending champ Kelowna Rockets.

“It’s been seven games of hard-fought hockey,” Rebels owner, coach and general manager Brent Sutter told RedDeerRebels.com. “Regina — full marks to them. They played hard and did a lot of great things in this series.”

Read on...

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.12.2016 / 3:00 PM CT
By Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick) - WinnipegJets.com / The Runway

WINNIPEG
– It was time.

After an incredible first year with the NCAA’s University of Michigan Wolverines, Kyle Connor felt ready for the challenge.

On Monday, Connor and the Jets agreed to terms on a three-year entry-level contract worth an annual average value of $1.775 million, bringing the 2015 first-round pick into the fold for the 2016-17 season.

“I’m just ready for this next step,” Connor said as he addressed the media via conference call Tuesday. “Turning pro was a family decision… but I think I’m ready for this.”

Connor’s college career came to end three weeks ago when the Wolverines were knocked out by fellow Jets prospect Tucker Poolman and the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks in the NCAA Midwest Regional Final. It was his one and only season in Michigan after spending the previous three years with the Youngstown Phantoms of the United States Hockey League. There, he set a single-season franchise record with 80 points (34G, 46A) in his final campaign before being drafted by the Jets.

“Coming into the season I knew there was definitely a chance it could have been a one-and-done [-type situation],” Connor said, “but you never know how it was all going to play out. After the season, I sat down with my family and my coach (the venerable Red Berenson), and that’s when I ended up making my decision"

Read on...

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.11.2016 / 7:35 PM CT
By Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick) - WinnipegJets.com / The Runway

WINNIPEG
– The once immaculate ice turned a pond within minutes; colourful slush later scraped up by bobcats, with the unmistakable smell of diesel fuel filling the concourse instead of popcorn, nachos and hot dogs.

It’s everyone’s least favourite day of the hockey season – the first one with no hockey at all.

The Winnipeg Jets had their annual exit meetings on Monday, and it began bright and early at MTS Centre, where crews quickly transformed a beautiful ice rink into a quiet, concrete jungle.

After missing the cut with a 35-39-8 record, the Jets had already shifted gears, though, focusing on the work that needs to be done to make the team competitive again five months from now.

“There would be a spectrum of conversations that happened today,” said Head Coach Paul Maurice, who, along with General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff, met with each player individually before going their separate ways.

“There were guys that, statistically, there were parts of their game they could be proud of. That was a theme with a number of them. For some of the … younger players, I have the expectation that they will take that next step, that jump in their game. For some of them, that’s not something you can do over five months, but there would be a number of those younger players that got the message, ‘This is where I see you at your best, and we need you to get there far sooner than you’re comfortable getting there.’”

Read on...

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.11.2016 / 4:00 PM CT
By Mitchell Clinton (@MClinton007) - WinnipegJets.com / The Runway


WINNIPEG --
Despite a season that saw him reach a career high in points (78) and finish with points in 11 straight games, Blake Wheeler only feels disappointment.

After making the Stanley Cup playoffs last season, the Winnipeg Jets are on the outside looking in after 82 games.

“There will be a time for sure when I’m able to reflect on it, and I’ll be proud of the work I’ve put in,” said Wheeler. “Certainly coming into the year, being pretty excited about where we left off last year, looking to build on that, it’s disappointing.”

The Jets finished the season with a 35-39-8 record, putting them seventh in the Central Division. Just like 2014-2015, five Central Division teams will play for the Stanley Cup, tied with the Metropolitan Division for the most in the league.

But it wasn’t the team’s 11-16-2 record within the Division that Wheeler believes why MTS Centre won’t see playoff hockey this spring.

Read on...
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POSTED ON Sunday, 04.10.2016 / 12:55 AM CT
By Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick) - WinnipegJets.com / The Runway


LOS ANGELES, California
– That's it, that's all, that's all there is.

But, boy, what a way to say goodnight. 

The Winnipeg Jets closed out the 2015-16 season in dramatic fashion, quashing a 3-0 deficit with three quick goals before winning it in a shootout, 4-3 over the LA Kings. With the win, the Jets finish the season on a four-game winning streak, improving their overall record to 35-39-8 for 78 points.

Mark Scheifele scored the shootout winner, while Ondrej Pavelec made 25 saves in regulation and overtime before stopping all three in the skills competition.

Pavelec made a couple of incredible saves in a highly entertaining, end-to-end overtime to send it the distance.

“It’s great to end on a positive note, especially with the way this year has gone,” Blake Wheeler, who extended his point streak to 11 games with a goal and an assist, said after the game. “It’s bittersweet. You kind of scratch your head and wonder where this has been all year. … There’s a lot of good men in here, a lot of good leaders showing the guys who don’t have a ton of experience what it’s all about. That resonates throughout the room.”

Read on...

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