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Copp has some familiarity with newest Jet, Shore

"Hopefully we can get him in the mix right away and make him feel important." -Copp

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

WINNIPEG - Wednesday morning was a busy one for the Winnipeg Jets, with the flurry of activity beginning even before the team took to the ice for practice at noon CT.

The Jets claimed Nick Shore off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs and placed Dmitry Kulikov on injured reserve.

The 27-year-old Shore will meet the team in Dallas and head coach Paul Maurice will wait and see how that goes before putting the team's newest acquisition in the line-up or not.

Shore has three points in 21 games this season.

"He's defensively smart. He's a positionally smart player. He's a good pro, he knows where he's supposed to be on the ice," said Maurice. "The addition there is he has hands to make a play. It's not just off the glass and out. He has an awareness of the ice around him."

Video: PRACTICE | Paul Maurice

The long-term injuries to Bryan Little and Mark Letestu made the move to claim Shore important. He also checks off a lot of boxes when it comes to areas of the game away from even strength.

"We want somebody that can move the puck a little bit from that middle ice position," said Maurice. "He's over 50 per cent in the face-offs. He kills penalties. All the things we're looking for."

That isn't to say Maurice isn't pleased with the current trio that has played that fourth line role in the last few weeks.

"I've liked the way our fourth line has played in terms of how hard they've played. These guys have battled hard," said Maurice. "You have two really young and inexperienced guys that are just getting better. They're much better now in the offensive zone. (David Gustafsson) scores his first goal, (Joona) Luoto has a couple points. Logan (Shaw) has been the hard conscience of the line in terms of talking to them on the bench."

Andrew Copp has a bit of a connection to Shore. He played with Shore's younger brother Quentin in the United States National Team Development Program for one season in 2011-12. The following season, they both went to the NCAA. 

"College guy always fits in nicely in the room. It's weird how that works," said Copp with a grin.

"I think you kind of reach out and try to have a little conversation with him tomorrow and go from there. Once you get into a game, you start talking on the bench, you give him pats for a good shift. He starts to feel it right away."

Video: PRACTICE | Andrew Copp

The Jets have experience with players joining the squad off waivers and fitting right in. Carl Dahlstrom and Luca Sbisa are just two examples of that on the blue line.

The best way to welcome new players into the room is to get them involved as quickly as possible, says Copp.

"Hopefully we can get him in the mix right away and make him feel important," said Copp. "We're going to need everybody and anybody that comes in here is going to be an important part of our team going forward. Not sure what the plan is for him, but he could be an important piece for us."

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