Putting an NHL jersey on for the first time can bring on a lot of emotions.
Nerves, excitement, and anticipation can bundle up inside a player in the minutes leading up to puck drop.
That was the case for 2016 draftees Luke Green and Jordy Stallard.
"I played a few pre-season games in Saint John, but it was nothing like last night," Green said, referring to his QMJHL team, the Saint John Sea Dogs. "It's a lot faster. Guys are all battling for spots in line-ups, you can tell how hungry everyone is."
For Stallard, who wasn't in attendance at the NHL Draft, last night's 4-1 loss to Calgary was the first time he ever wore Jets colours.
"Just being able to put on that jersey, it's a pretty surreal experience," said Stallard. "The nerves and the excitement all kind of bundles up into one. So it's nice to get that over with, and kind of relax and settle in. It's nice to have the older guys helping us out."
Video: PRACTICE | Jordy Stallard
Both players took reps with the team's power play units in today's 60-minute skate. Green was paired with Tyson Wilson, while Stallard skated with Chase De Leo and Brandon Denham.
"It's definitely a great feeling to know that the coaches trust me out there," said Green, who notched 35 points in 61 games in the QMJHL last season. "That's what every player wants, is the coach's trust. If I can earn a little bit of that trust already, I'm definitely happy."
Video: PRACTICE | Luke Green
Coach Pascal Vincent liked what he saw from both players in their Winnipeg Jets debut, but added he doesn't put too much stock into their first game.
"Especially for those guys, the first game is always a little bit tricky. I like to wait until the second game," said Vincent. "The first game is under their belt now, they know a little bit more of what to expect. We did look at them, but our evaluation is going to be a little deeper after the second game."
Part of that evaluation in Vincent's mind is changing the line-up.
"We're going to play with the lines a little bit, put them in some different situations and we'll go from there," Vincent said. "I like their attitude, the way they listen, the way they adjust in practices. These drills are all new to them. I like that they're paying attention and trying to get better."
Vincent said part of those line-up changes for tomorrow's game against Edmonton (4 pm CT, streamed live on WinnipegJets.com) includes adding in Antoine Waked and Kristians Rubins.
Both players were invited to this month's rookie camp. Waked spent last season with Memorial Cup runner-up Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, where he scored 11 goals and 38 points in 48 games on the wing.
Rubins, a defenceman, spent 2015-2016 with Vasteras in the Swedish League.
Video: PRACTICE | Pascal Vincent
No word yet who will come out of the line-up to make room, as Vincent said those conversations are still ongoing with the coaching staff.
One conversation that has been had revolves who will start in goal. Jamie Phillips will get the start following his 21 saves on the 22 shots he faced in 30 minutes of work last night against Calgary.