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Jets set to wrap up Rookie Showcase with rematch against Ottawa

Winnipeg rookies are coming off a 2-1 win over Montreal on Sunday

by Jamie Thomas @JamieThomasTV /

BELLEVILLE, ON - The Winnipeg Jets get right back into game action at the 2019 Rookie Showcase Tournament tonight in a rematch with the Ottawa Senators.

The same two teams opened the tournament on Friday with Ottawa winning 8-1. But following an impressive defensive performance from the Jets prospects in a win last night, head coach Pascal Vincent feels confident about the second meeting.

"They're going to have a different lineup as well. Quite a few of their top players are not going to be there," said Vincent.

"I thought a combination of their lineup (the Sens used six players who have NHL experience) and us travelling the day before was not necessarily a good mix for the final result. I think we are going to have a better chance to compete and be in the game tonight."

Video: ROOKIE CAMP | Pascal Vincent

The Jets will be playing the third game in four nights so Vincent and the coaching staff decided not to hold a morning skate. The team looked much better and confident during the 2-1 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday.

"Cohesion, I'd say," said Vincent when asked about the biggest difference between the first two games.

"But, like I said, being rested was a key factor. Understanding a bit more what is expected from the players. You could tell our o-zone forecheck was way better, neutral zone was way better, d-zone coverage was way better. We kept it very simple but there is a few things right away and they did."

Video: ROOKIE CAMP | JetsTV Road Report

Here is the lineup for the Jets tonight against Ottawa:











Joona Luoto will once again play on the left side with C.J Suess like he did against the Canadiens on Saturday. Back in June, Luoto said his style of play fits the North American game.

"It always takes a lot of time to adjust my game to here," said Luoto.

"But I feel pretty good. It's fast paced hockey and I like it."

Video: ROOKIE CAMP | Joona Luoto

Luoto signed a three-year entry level deal with the Jets back in June after compiling 16 points in 58 games with Tappara Tampere in the Finnish Elite League in 2018-19. Vincent has noticed the consistency in Luoto's game through the first two games of the tournament.

"I liked him (last night). His first game he was pretty good, he was one of the positive players," said Vincent.

"Yesterday his stick was good, penalty kill was good, blocking shots, using his speed in the neutral zone. I thought he was pretty good."

On the blueline, Leon Gawanke will play in his third straight contest. Unlike some of his teammates this weekend, Gawanke's junior hockey career is over and now he will move onto the pro game. 

"For sure. I hope I'm going to make the Moose obviously," said Gawanke who posted a career high 57 points in 62 games with Cape Breton of the QMJHL last season.

"It's going to be a great time and I'm looking forward to playing here."

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