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Dahlstrom joins Jets after long flight from Prague

"Carl is on the longest first game road trip in the history of the National League." Maurice

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

NEW YORK, NY - It has been a wild 24-hour period for the newest member of the Winnipeg Jets.

The 24-year-old Carl Dahlstrom was in Prague, Czech Republic with his former team - the Chicago Blackhawks - when he was claimed off waivers by the Jets on Tuesday.

Prague is seven hours ahead of Winnipeg time, meaning Dahlstrom had to scramble to be ready for a 10 am flight the next morning.

"I'm extremely excited," said Dahlstrom in New York, where he met up with his new team. "I'm looking forward to a new chapter in my career. The flight was great. I've been sleeping quite good the last 24 hours."

The other benefit of the Jets being in New York was that Dahlstrom's flight was direct. He was able to get into the city in time to meet up with his sister, who has lived in New York for just over a month now.

Video: PREGAME | Carl Dahlstrom

When the Jets arrived shortly after 5 pm Eastern time, Dahlstrom went to meet his new teammates.

"We had a nice dinner yesterday," said Dahlstrom, who doesn't know many faces in the dressing room. "David (Gustafsson) is from Sweden. He's a lot younger than me. But I've played with a couple guys who have played with him."

Jets head coach Paul Maurice won't put Dahlstrom in the line-up tonight against the New York Rangers, but didn't rule out the possibility of the Swedish defenceman playing against the New Jersey Devils Friday night.

"Carl is on the longest first game road trip in the history of the National League," Maurice said with a grin. "He had to go through Europe to get here. We just told him to get some rest and we'll talk to you tomorrow. He'll go through the video, but we'll bring him in kind of slowly."

When he does get in, the 6'4" Dahlstrom wants to stick to the game that got him claimed in the first place. But first, he'll have conversations with Maurice and the coaching staff.

"I know they probably picked me up because they liked my game," Dahlstrom said. "I see myself as a pretty defensive defenceman with some upside in the offense. I see my gap as probably my biggest strength. Getting close to guys quickly and getting the puck from them and getting it to our forwards."

Dahlstrom is right. That gap is exactly what stood out to Maurice when he started watching video of his newest defenceman.

"He's a defender and a gap-closer. A lot of the things that we've tried to, I don't want to say implement, but get better at in our training camp, we think he can excel at," Maurice said after practice on Tuesday.

"There is lots of room for growth in his game. We view him as a safe plug-in right now. He's got some NHL experience, he's clearly got some size."

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