In preparation for the overseas endeavour, the team has been expected to make a couple roster moves as the threat for potential injury looms largely while playing/living in a different environment than normal.
On Saturday afternoon it was announced that the Jets had called up defenceman Tucker Poolman from the Manitoba Moose. And although not officially announced yet, Winnipeg is also expected to bring up netminder Eric Comrie, also from Manitoba, for the two-game trip.
Unfortunately for Finland natives Sami Niku (Manitoba Moose) and Kristian Vesalainen – who began the season with one assist in five games for the Jets before being sent down to the minors – Poolman was the final skater to be called up to the big league team for the Finland trip. Niku played in one game for the Jets in 2017-18, scoring his first NHL goal, before failing to crack the Jets this fall. Vesalainen has played the last three seasons in Finland’s elite league, Liiga.
These depth moves provide some backup to Winnipeg’s already deep 13 forward, seven defenceman, two goaltender squad. With defensemen Dmitry Kulikov and Joe Morrow shuffling in and out of the lineup as of late, Poolman’s presence may also prompt some stronger play from those two defenders. Dustin Byfuglien, Josh Morrissey, Jacob Trouba and Tyler Myers are locked in, while Kulikov, Morrow, Poolman and Ben Chiarot are expected to battle for the final two defence positions.
The 25-year-old defenceman of Dubuque, IA. has three assists in six American Hockey League games with Manitoba, after failing to crack the Jets’ squad out of training camp this fall. In 24 games with Winnipeg in 2017-18, Poolman has one goal and one assist.
The Jets will play Florida on November 1st at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland in away game number six for the club. The next day, the two teams will pick things back up and go at it again, this time in Winnipeg’s eighth home game of the season. Both games will be available to watch on TSN3 at 1:00 P.M. central.