The Winnipeg Jets are returning to the Young Stars Classic in Penticton, British Columbia for the first time in four years.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club has not been a participant at the annual pre-season tune-up since 2018 (with there being no 2019 event). A time for young draft picks and undrafted free agents to make their case for consideration on the Jets and American Hockey League affiliate Manitoba Moose, the Young Stars Classic will run from September 16-19 at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Winnipeg announced its participating 24-man roster for the three-game event, which includes a number of high-ranked draft selections over the past few years. Leading the way will be Cole Perfetti, who missing significant time due to injury last year, including NHL, AHL and World Junior Hockey Championship action. He will be the only player with NHL experience to his name (two goals and seven points in 18 games last season).
Local products Dean Stewart (Portage la Prairie) and Chase Bertholet (The Pas) will also be available to skate in live action for Winnipeg in its three games against Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. With a roster of 24, at least four players will serve as scratches each game, unless injury forces the Jets’ hand.
Chaz Lucius, whom the Jets drafted 18th overall in 2021 will be in attendance, as will be 2022 first rounder Brad Lambert (30th overall). Winnipeg’s 14th overall selection from this past July’s draft, Rutger McGroarty, is already at the University of Michigan, where he will play the 2022-23 season.
The team will practice at Bell MTS Iceplex on Wednesday before heading out to B.C. for Friday’s opening contest against Calgary. Winnipeg’s schedule is listed below, will fans being able to tune into the action at WinnipegJets.com.