PENTICTON, B.C. - The goal for Jason Gregoire was to be one of the more noticeable players for the Winnipeg Jets during the 2011 Young Stars tournament.
And with one game left to play, the 22-year-old Winnipegger is well on his way to making that happen.
While linemate Mark Scheifele had the flashier opening game, Gregoire has been the most consistent Jets player to this point.
“I’m getting chances and I know if I’m getting those, eventually I’ll get some goals,” said Gregoire, who signed with the Jets as an unrestricted free agent on July 7 after spending the past three seasons with the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux.
UND is an excellent program and Gregoire told reporters that head coach Dave Hakstol did a great job preparing him for the pro game.
“(Hakstol) just demands the best out of everybody and that’s one thing you’ve got to learn when you come to pro,” said Gregoire. “You can’t be mediocre one night, be good another and go back and forth. You have to bring your best night in and night out.”
Gregoire has one goal in the two games and has been creating a bundle of scoring chances for him and his linemates.
“You can see he comes from a very good program and you can see the age difference,” said St. John’s IceCaps head coach Keith McCambridge. “You see him rise above the rest of the group here. He’s got really good vision, moves the puck well, has a good shot, is accountable coming back into his own zone. All of those details that a good pro has to have, he has a good start on that.”
In all likelihood, McCambridge should be able to witness much of Gregoire’s development first-hand in St. John’s but the left-winger is determined to do everything to make it a difficult choice for the Jets to send him to the minors.
“As a hockey player, you can’t look too far ahead or you’ll get lost,” Gregoire said. “You just have to worry about things one day at a time. I’m fighting for a job, that’s my mentality going into main camp. Every little bit of your game is going to be tested. I’m going to have to elevate my speed, my shot, everything. Playmaking, my strength on the puck and limiting turnovers. You can’t always be scoring goals, but you can’t be hurting the team ... For me to make the Jets, I’m going to have to be at my best every day.”