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Myers looking forward to new beginning with Jets

by Robby Stanley /

NASHVILLE -- New Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tyler Myers is looking forward to starting the next chapter of his career Thursday against the Nashville Predators.

Myers was traded from the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday with forward Drew Stafford, forward prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux, and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft for forward Evander Kane, defenseman Zach Bogosian and goaltending prospect Jason Kasdorf. He joins a Jets team in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoff race in the Western Conference.

"I'm excited," Myers said. "I see the position these guys were in before we came and always playing against them, they play a hard game. To be stepping in to be a part of that now, it's very exciting as a player.

"It was a pretty quick turnaround. [My] agent called me in the morning and said 'It's looking like it could get done.' A few hours later, we were on a flight connecting in Atlanta so there wasn't really much time to think about it or let it sink in."

This is the first time in Myers' career that he was traded, but his new Jets teammates provided him and Stafford some advice on how to handle the situation.

"I've talked to some of the guys," Myers said. "They were talking about times they have been moved. The first few days are a little bit of a whirlwind, but I think it's a good thing that we got here as quick as we did and could get into the mix of things this quickly. The faster we get on the ice, I think it'll be better for both of us."

Jets coach Paul Maurice will try to keep things simple integrating new players into the lineup. Winnipeg has won two straight games and is in fifth place in the Western Conference heading into the game Thursday. Maurice doesn't want to damage the chemistry the Jets have built over the past few games.

"Make as few changes as possible to start," Maurice said. "We've got, on the back end, players that have played together. Zach leaves and Tyler goes into that hole."

Myers joined defenseman Tobias Enstrom at the morning skate in Nashville on Thursday and will play with him against the Predators. Enstrom has played with big, mobile defensemen before, and Maurice said he believes the two could fit nicely together.

"They know each other a little bit, so there's a comfort level there," Maurice said. "[Enstrom], when he played with Dustin [Byfuglien], is used to playing with a guy that gets up the ice quite well. And they average out to be about 6-4 between the two of them."

Maurice knows there will be an adjustment for Myers for the first few games after coming from a different style of play in Buffalo.

"Getting those guys into the room and getting them to feel comfortable is the biggest challenge," Maurice said. "And then not having them think too much in the first game. We run quite a bit different systems than they do in Buffalo, so there's a lot for these guys, a lot of video."

The Sabres are last in the NHL standings and 2-8-0 in their past 10 games. Myers is excited to play for a team that is in a battle for playoff positioning.

"It makes things a lot more exciting, for sure, given the position we're in right now," Myers said. "It's going to be tight going down the stretch. This is what we play for. It's exciting for me definitely, coming from the position we were in."

Myers knows he will have a lot of new things to learn in the next few games, but he's hopeful it will be a quick process. Gaining chemistry with his teammates will be important for Winnipeg's playoff push.

"Hopefully it doesn't take too long," Myers said. "Obviously jumping in [Thursday], there's going to be some things to learn; a new system and figuring out exactly how to work with the guys. It's going to be a different situation for sure. I've never really gone through anything like this, and for me it's just adjusting as fast as I can."

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