SUNRISE, Fla. -- Winnipeg Jets defenseman Zach Redmond likely will be making his NHL debut Thursday night against the Florida Panthers.
While Jets coach Claude Noel wouldn't confirm that Redmond would be in the lineup, Redmond said he had been told he would play against the Panthers.
"It's a pretty nervous time period," Redmond said. "You're just kind of sitting there wondering, but I've been trying to stay as relaxed as I can. They have their plans for everybody, so I've just been trying to stay patient and just wait for them. I had a feeling this could be the game, and it was, and I can't wait. I'm excited."
Redmond was a healthy scratch for Winnipeg's first six games this season after spending all of 2011-12 with the St. John's IceCaps of the American Hockey League.
Redmond was a seventh-round pick of the then-Atlanta Thrashers in the 2008 NHL Draft after his first season at Ferris State University.
The 24-year-old Redmond, a native of Traverse City, Mich., was hoping to have family and friends in the stands Thursday night, but wasn't sure whether travel plans could be arranged quickly enough.
For his part, Redmond said he was hoping to be able to take a nap Thursday afternoon.
As for his first game, Redmond said he's gotten advice from Jets defenseman Paul Postma, a 2007 draft pick who made his NHL debut in November 2011.
"Everyone just keeps saying, do what got you here, that's kind of the old saying," Redmond said. "I'm sure there's going to be some surprises, as in everyone's first game. But I'm going to learn and go out there and give it my best shot."'