After waiting all summer, hockey fans will fill MTS Centre tonight as the Winnipeg Jets open the preseason against the Calgary Flames, and Jack Roslovic may be more excited than all of them.
"A lot of people say it's going to be pretty much a sold out MTS Centre. That's really exciting," said Roslovic. "Just to be able to play along side some of these guys is a great opportunity."
The 25th overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft will centre a line with Nic Petan and Joel Armia on the wings. After playing three games in the Young Stars Classic, Roslovic has noticed the pace has picked up in training camp, and expects more of the same tonight.
"It's a big difference. Obviously the Penticton tournament is more of the young players and prospects," he said. "You come here and it's a lot of veterans. Especially now the guys are back from the World Cup. The pace is high, it's a lot different. It's a lot more fun."
Roslovic says the veterans in camp have been helpful in his adjustment to the pro game. There will be a few of those veterans in the line-up tonight, including new acquisitions Brian Strait, Quinton Howden, and Shawn Matthias.
Video: PRE-GAME | Jack Roslovic
"It will be good for us to get out there and back into game shape. You train all summer, and work as hard as you can, but nothing compares to a game," Matthias said following morning skate at MTS Iceplex. "Happy to get out there and get my first taste of putting that jersey on, and play in front of the fans and play in the rink."
The 28-year-old Matthias has played 479 career NHL games split between Florida, Vancouver, Toronto, and Colorado. That experience will be an asset tonight, as both teams work to get their systems and special teams ready for the regular season.
"I'm sure it's going to be a little sloppy out there… We're all trying to get used to systems and stuff like that," Matthias said. "I expect it to be a hard-working game, pretty physical as well. Guys are going to try and go out there and get noticed.
"You have to keep your head up, try to make plays, and play as hard as you can."
The Flames lost both split squad match ups to the Edmonton Oilers last night, 2-1 at Scotiabank Saddledome, and 4-2 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
Eric Comrie will start in goal, with puck drop coming at 7 pm CT.