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Cheveldayoff, Jets return to Kraft Hockeyville

Saturday, 14.09.2013 / 2:13 PM / Feature
By Brian Compton  - Deputy Managing Editor
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Cheveldayoff, Jets return to Kraft Hockeyville

BELLEVILLE, Ontario – For the second time in three years, the Winnipeg Jets will be participating in the Kraft Hockeyville preseason game as they face the Washington Capitals on Saturday night at Yardmen Arena.

They're thrilled to be back.

"I think the whole concept around Hockeyville is just an exciting time," Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff told NHL.com in an exclusive interview Saturday morning. "It really brings everything back to the grass-roots level from all perspectives, especially from the guys' perspective. It's a little bit different than just a normal exhibition game. I think from that standpoint, it's exciting for them."

In 2011, the Jets earned a 3-1 victory against the Ottawa Senators in the Kraft Hockeyville game at Mile One Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland, home of Winnipeg's American Hockey League affiliate. Cheveldayoff admitted this preseason game can outweigh others for the players, as Saturday night's game will have special meaning for Jets forwards Austen Brassard and Eric Tangradi, who both played for the Belleville Bulls in the Ontario Hockey League.

Brassard, a fifth-round pick (No. 149) in 2011, will wear an NHL uniform for the first time Saturday night. He had 14 goals, 19 assists and 93 penalty minutes in 62 games for the Bulls last season.

"It's exciting for some of the players that have local ties to the towns," Cheveldayoff said. "A lot of the players come from smaller centers throughout Canada. It's great when you have a couple of players on your team that it has some special meaning to as well. Players like Austen Brassard, who played in Belleville from the junior standpoint, it's exciting for him to come back and be playing his first-ever exhibition game here."

It's also an exciting time for Cheveldayoff, who, unlike last year, gets a full preseason to fully evaluate his players before the 2013-14 season begins. The Jets open the regular season on Oct. 1 against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place.

"We missed this opportunity last year of going through the whole evaluation process from an organization standpoint," Cheveldayoff said. "For us, we're counting on our young players continuing to be the lifeblood of our organization. It's great from an evaluation standpoint for us."

Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL

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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 63 41 15 7 191 151 89
2 ANA 63 39 17 7 186 176 85
3 STL 62 40 18 4 192 153 84
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
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8 LAK 61 29 20 12 164 157 70
9 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
10 SJS 63 30 25 8 175 181 68
11 COL 63 27 25 11 167 182 65
12 DAL 62 27 25 10 195 207 64
13 ARI 63 20 36 7 138 214 47
14 EDM 63 18 35 10 143 208 46

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
B. Little 63 24 26 9 50
A. Ladd 63 20 30 12 50
B. Wheeler 61 16 28 12 44
D. Byfuglien 63 15 26 6 41
M. Perreault 56 18 18 3 36
M. Scheifele 63 10 25 4 35
M. Frolik 63 13 19 3 32
D. Stafford 57 10 17 -18 27
J. Tlusty 53 13 10 -17 23
E. Kane 37 10 12 -1 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Hutchinson 18 7 5 .920 2.29
O. Pavelec 13 13 7 .909 2.60
 
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