WINNIPEG - On the first full practice day at training camp, the 48 players were split into two groups for 90-minute sessions.
Head coach Paul Maurice was hesitant to say anything about players who stood out, but did offer this on Ville Heinola - who the Jets selected 20th overall in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Heinola was taking part in his first training camp practice and received his 'Welcome to the NHL' moment, when Adam Lowry hit him into the end boards.
"That's day one of welcome to the National League," said Maurice. "There are a lot of different sizes than a lot of these guys are used to. There are some big men that can move and some little guys you can't catch.
"He was good. That was a good opportunity for him to get out there. He moves really well. Does it all with his head up."
Shortly after the hit, captain Blake Wheeler stopped by, put his arm around Heinola, and gave him a tap on the pads.
"You're 18-years-old and you show up at your first NHL camp and you're trying to figure out what door to walk in in the building," said Maurice. "Every drill is brand new for you, no players that you know, especially as a defenceman you can't judge anybody, you don't know their speed, you don't know their skill. There is so much going on. Every time one of those veteran guys stops by and slaps a kid on the pads, it makes them a little bit more relaxed."
In the first group of the day, the line rushes looked like this:
Four players didn't take part in either session today, instead skating between the two sessions on their own.
Andrew Copp is nursing a minor groin injury, while Kristian Vesalainen and Sami Niku were involved in a minor "fender bender" yesterday, according to Maurice. Both are fine but were kept out of the sessions as a precaution.
Skyler McKenzie was the fourth member of the group, but Maurice said after off-season surgery, the team knew McKenzie likely wouldn't be quite ready for the start of camp.
Maurice indicated that Eric Comrie will be the likely starter in the team's first preseason game on Monday in Edmonton against the Oilers, with Mikhail Berdin backing up.
"That's the way I've structured it. We're probably at three (games) for (Connor Hellebuyck), two-and-a-half for (Laurent Brossoit). Then one-and-a-half for the three of them," said Maurice. "We'll bring Berdin in as the back-up and we'll roll from there. I'd like to see (Berdin play). He's earned it and we're excited about him. Coms has definitely earned it. The rest of it is just workload."