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Jets prospect Smith achieves Olympic dream

"I had to take a step back and take a deep breath real quick."

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

Nathan Smith needed a minute to compose himself.

Sure, he'd seen trusted American media sources toss his name out as a possibility for the 2022 USA Men's Olympic Hockey Team roster, but the 23-year-old forward knew the depth of talent he'd be competing against for a spot.

Heck, even his head coach at the University of Minnesota-Mankato, Mike Hastings, tipped him off that he was under strong consideration for the squad. That was about as good of a source as any, especially since Hastings would be named an assistant coach shortly after that confidential conversation with Smith.

Even with all that in the back of his mind, the mentality of a hockey player took over.

Don't get too high. Don't get too low.

Well, now he was on the phone with the general manager of the USA Men's Olympic Hockey Team - John Vanbiesbrouck - and he was being offered one of the coveted 25 roster spots.

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2022 World Junior Recap: Day 3

Perfetti moves into tournament lead in points

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

Just like on Day 2, two Winnipeg Jets prospects were slated to take the ice on Day 3 at the IIHF World Junior Championship.

However, only one did.


The United States forfeited their game against Switzerland due to a mandated team quarantine following a positive test result of two of its players.

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2022 World Junior Recap: Day 2

Chibrikov and Torgersson help their teams to victory

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

On Day 2 at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship, two of the four Winnipeg Jets prospects were in action.

By the end of the night, both had helped their teams earn important victories.


First on the schedule was Nikita Chibrikov and Russia, who were looking to avenge a 6-3 loss to Sweden on the tournament's opening day.

Chibrikov did his part, assisting on the game's opening goal by Danila Yurov 7:21 into the first period.

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2022 World Junior Recap: Day 1

All four Jets prospects in action on the first day of competition

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /


In the second game of the day, Daniel Torgersson of Sweden and Nikita Chibrikov of Russia squared off.

The 19-year-old Torgersson, selected in the second round of the 2020 NHL Draft, had an assist on Sweden's fifth goal of the game, which proved to be an important insurance marker in a 6-3 win. Sweden had a 4-1 lead early in the third, before the Russians stormed back to make it 4-3 with 14:34 to go in regulation.

Chibrikov, who the Jets picked in the second round of the 2021 NHL Draft, also had an assist in the contest.

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Blaisdell one of three Jets prospects vying for NCAA title

The road to the Frozen Four begins on Mar. 26

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

Three Winnipeg Jets prospects have a chance at earning a national championship as the 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship gets underway on Mar. 26.

Harrison Blaisdell of the University of North Dakota, Nathan Smith of Minnesota State, and Jared Moe of the University of Minnesota are prospects Jets fans will want to keep an eye on as 16 teams begin the road to the Frozen Four - which will be held in Pittsburgh, PA.

Before they can think of the Frozen Four, though, they have to win their opening games in the single elimination bracket.

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2021 World Junior Recap: Final

Heinola, Nikkanen win bronze; Perfetti takes home silver

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

For the third consecutive game in the medal round at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, Finland found themselves behind.

Russia scored the opening goal of the bronze medal game off the stick of Ilya Safonov 6:03 into the first period. However, just like every other game in the medal round, Finland didn't go away.

They scored the next four goals to take the lead and never looked back, earning a 4-1 victory, which means Jets prospects Ville Heinola and Henri Nikkanen will leave Edmonton, AB with a bronze medal.

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2021 World Junior Recap: Semi-finals

Perfetti will play for gold; Heinola and Nikkanen to play Russia for bronze

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

Canada took the lead 59 seconds into the game and never looked back, as they earned a spot in the gold medal final with a 5-0 win over Russia at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Winnipeg Jets prospect Cole Perfetti was one of the goal scorers, as he snapped home his second of the tournament as part of a three-goal opening 20 minutes for Canada.

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2021 World Junior Recap: Quarterfinals

Heinola, Nikkanen play big role in Finland's comeback win

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

After 20 minutes, Sweden had a 2-0 lead over Finland in their quarterfinal match-up. But the last 40 minutes belonged to Finland - and two Winnipeg Jets prospects were a big part of the comeback.

Ville Heinola had an assist and played 27:58 in a 3-2 come from behind win for Finland, earning him Player of the Game honours. Henri Nikkanen scored his second goal of the tournament, a big momentum turning moment in the second period, to start the comeback.

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2021 World Junior Recap: Day 7

Canada earns top spot in Group A; Heinola leaves with injury

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

It was a battle of two undefeated teams with top spot in Group A on the line as Canada took on Finland on New Year's Eve.

It was also the first time in the tournament that the three Jets prospects playing in the event - Cole Perfetti, Ville Heinola, and Henri Nikkanen - squared off against each other.

In the end, Perfetti's Canadian squad earned a 4-1 win over Finland, giving them a perfect 4-0-0 record and top spot in Group A. It was also an early birthday present for the 18-year-old, who celebrates his 19th birthday on New Year's Day.

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2021 World Junior Recap: Day 6

Finland shuts out Slovakia, setting up New Year's Eve tilt with Canada for top spot in Group A

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

New Year's Eve will not only have all three Jets prospects at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship against each other.

It will also feature two teams battling out for top spot in Group A.

Thanks to Finland's 6-0 win over Slovakia, they are tied with Canada at 3-0-0 - setting up a clash of the group's two best teams on Thursday night.

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