Jets prospect Postma delivers

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:46 AM ET

WINNIPEG - It may have been the quietest four-point night a young player could have.

Somewhat lost in the hype of the Winnipeg Jets first pre-season game, amid the buzz generated by rookie Mark Scheifele and defenceman Dustin Byfuglien, was the play of third-year pro Paul Postma.

The 22-year-old defenceman from Red Deer scored a goal and helped set up three others in Tuesday's win over Columbus.

Considering Postma has only played one NHL regular-season game, Tuesday was a career highlight.

"The only way I can describe it is probably a Stanley Cup playoff game," he said of the noise level. "By far the loudest rink I've ever heard in my life. Sitting on the bench before the game, you couldn't even talk to the guy beside you, it was that loud."

How loudly his play spoke to head coach Claude Noel is what really matters, though.

"The game went pretty well for me," Postma said. "I was just keeping it simple, got pucks to the net, and managed to get the one goal. Hopefully it helps a little bit. I want to play an all-around game, and hopefully I did that."

The book on Postma is this: good offence, not as good defence.

Since being drafted by Atlanta in the seventh round, four years ago, he says he's added some weight and some edge to his game, honed during two seasons with the AHL's Chicago Wolves, where Noel saw plenty of it.

"Points aside, I wanted to watch D-zone coverage," Noel said. "That was a question mark a little bit. It was pretty good, pretty composed. He moved the puck pretty good, shot the puck pretty good.

"But the test for a guy like him and people in those positions is: now it turns up. There's another level coming, here. Where are you gonna be then? Less time. More heat. This is really where you're going to see, after this weekend."

Postma is what they call a "bubble guy" — he could land on the big club, or fall back to the farm.

He's put up solid AHL numbers, including 12 goals, 45 points last season.

He only got into one NHL game, midseason, but it was a doozy.

"It was in Carolina," he said. "It was crazy, a spot in the season where both teams were battling for a playoff spot. We ended up winning 2-1 in overtime, and I thought I played pretty well. But I couldn't stick."

The taste of the NHL life, however brief, has him even hungrier.

"You've got to get some breaks along the way," Postma said. "When I went back down I was injured for a while so I couldn't get back in the lineup. A few things gotta go right for you. Someone's gotta believe in you. And you've got to get your chance and make your mark."

Tuesday wasn't a bad start.


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