The Winnipeg Jets defeated the Edmonton Oilers Monday, October 9th, by a score of 5-2 at Rogers Arena in Edmonton for their first win of the season. Notable in their victory was a natural hat trick by Nikolaj Ehlers who finished with a 4 point night along with Scheifele (1G, 2A) and Wheeler (3A) with 3 points each. Also notable was the fact the Jets did not fold or panic when the Oilers took all of 48 seconds to tie the game up after being down by 2 midway through the second period.
After the Oilers’ second goal Paul Maurice called a timeout. After that, the Jets assumed control for pretty much the duration of the game, outshooting Edmonton 43-39 after being down in shots 20-11 at the end of the first.
A not-so-underlying story of this game was rookie defenceman Tucker Poolman playing in his first ever regular season game for the Jets, in place of injured defenceman Dustin Byfuglien. Playing alongside Enstrom and finishing the game with 14:30 of ice time, Poolman looked like anything but a rookie on this night. Sure, Poolman had zero goals or assists, zero time on the PP and 7 seconds of PK but his 2 SOG, 1 HIT, 0 giveaways and 1 takeaway are respectable stats for his inaugural visit to the show. Poolman showed no signs of having any first game jitters. Even with Edmonton matching Connor McDavid against him, he played with poise. Reading the play well, getting to the puck first and smartly getting those breakout passes to Jets forwards are no small feats against what is arguably the fastest team in the NHL.
Poolman looked like anything but a rookie on this night.
At 24 years of age, and having played at the University of North Dakota for three seasons, Poolman can be considered a seasoned rookie. Finishing his campaign over three years with the now named Fighting Hawks, he amassed 18, 24 and 30 points respectively over that span.
Also, as an assistant captain in 2016/17 for the UND Fighting Hawks, Poolman was named to the NCAA (NCHC) All-Tournament Team, the NCAA (NCHC) First All-Star Team, the NCAA (West) First All-American Team, and earned the NCAA (NCHC) Best Defensive Defenseman award.
Currently listed at 6’2” and 199 lbs, Poolman was drafted in 2013 by the Jets in the 5th round. He has been steadfast in earning his right at a shot to prove himself. I say he’s earned the right to stay because he improves the Jets chances of winning.