Ville Heinola was more confident, relaxed and certainly seemed to have added a few pounds over the summer as he prepared to speak to the media on Friday afternoon after day two of the Winnipeg Jets pro mini-camp at Bell MTS Iceplex.
But entering his third year with the organization after being selected 20th in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the 20-year-old Finnish defender made it very clear that he was not the least bit interested in discussing how. he has been personally affected by the team’s acquisition of transatlantic veterans Brenden Dillon and Nate Schmidt over the summer.
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“I really don’t want to think about it or talk about it. So it is now, ”was Heinola’s response when asked a second time about his chances of reaching the Jets next season after playing 13 NHL games during his first two years with the team. “If I start thinking about it, it’s going to affect my game, I think.”
Heinola says he’s eager to see the impact Dillon and Schmidt will have on the Jets’ fortunes, but he’s understandably focused on himself and preparing for a full year in Winnipeg, preferably with the Jets, but with the Jets. Moose, then it’s okay. with that.
“Obviously, if they want me to play there, it’ll be good for me,” said the highly regarded prospect on the camp roster at six feet, 181 pounds. “I don’t think they want to put me in the wrong position. But the main thing is that I want to play with the greats. “
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And while Heinola seeks to regain some rungs on the Jets’ defensive ladder, forward Evgeny Svechnikov came to Winnipeg looking for a fresh start after being released by Detroit over the summer.
The 24-year-old Russian was Red Wings’ first pick in the 2015 NHL Inning Draft, but his career has been plagued with injuries, most notably a torn ACL that left him out of the game for the entire 2018 season. 19. And he referenced that when asked what brought things to an end after five years at Motor City.
“There were a couple of reasons, but I’m not going to talk about them. There were some things that were not going well, ”said the six-foot-three, 208-pound forward who can play on any wing. “Obviously, the injuries I had also set me back a bit. I had hard times, I had good times. I will take some good things with me in the future. “
The older brother of Carolina’s budding superstar Andrei Svechnikov feels he can play a power forward role with the Jets if that situation unfolds. And Evgeny Svechnikov says that’s exactly why he chose Winnipeg, because he sees an opportunity with this organization.
“Obviously there are some places that can be open and the Jets are not very deep,” said former Cape Breton Screaming Eagle of the Quebec League, who has met up with his junior teammate Pierre-Luc Dubois in Winnipeg. “With my skill and my game, I think I can bring some offense and hold on to the puck a bit.”
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Svechnikov signed an AHL contract with Moose, but he will be attending this camp on a professional test (PTO), so it is highly likely that he will see some action during the preseason, which begins a week from Sunday at the Canada Life Center. at 7 pm against Ottawa.
Saturday will be an off-ice training day, followed by 9am ice sessions scheduled for Sunday and Monday at the Bell MTS Iceplex. Then it’s at the start of the main camp, starting later in the week.
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