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Jets 2014 first-round pick Ehlers recalled from junior

by Patrick Williams /

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets want to give top prospect Nikolaj Ehlers an up-close look at Stanley Cup Playoff hockey in Winnipeg.

The Jets recalled Ehlers from Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Wednesday before Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday at MTS Centre (9:30 p.m. ET; USA, SN, TVA Sports, FS-W). Anaheim leads the best-of-7 series 3-0.

The 19-year-old left wing from Denmark, the ninth pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, finished his junior season Tuesday. He had 37 goals and 64 assists in 51 regular-season games with Halifax this season. His 101 points ranked third in QMJHL scoring, and he reached 100 or more points for the second consecutive season.

Ehlers added 10 goals and 21 assists in 14 playoff games, and his 31 playoff points lead the QMJHL.

Jets coach Paul Maurice said Ehlers will not dress for Game 4 and will have a simple to-do list after he arrives in Winnipeg on Wednesday.

"Probably [have] dinner," Maurice said. "Hang out. See a few guys. I'm not sure where the players sit, but get an opportunity to enjoy this crowd. Really good experience, right?

"We look at Nik as hopefully a real big part of our future. To get him in and get him into a game atmosphere, but also to see the game. Maybe you can attest [to it]. I get to watch the [television broadcast] after the games a couple of times, but you've got to be in the building to get a [sense for the] pace for this game. The speed and the physicality of it.

"It's good for all of those guys, our younger players, when we can, to witness that."

Maurice did not rule out Ehlers as an option for the lineup if Winnipeg could keep the series going.

"I think he's [a] legitimate [option]," Maurice said. "From a contract standpoint point of view, we could put him in the lineup."

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