Jet's last chance to impress

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:57 AM ET

WINNIPEG - In a way, he’s the Mark Scheifele of the defence. He’s the young Winnipeg Jets hopeful who has caught the attention of the coaches and the fan base with his stellar play.

The question now is: Will it be enough for him to stick around Winnipeg for the start of the NHL season?

Postma gets one last chance to state his case on Friday night when the Jets host the Nashville Predators in their pre-season finale at MTS Centre.

“I’m a little nervous,” Postma said Thursday after practice at the downtown arena. “Obviously the last one’s the biggest. The coaches have some tough decisions to make, so guys want to kind of put their final stamp on the pre-season, and hopefully it’s good enough to make the squad.”

The Jets currently have seven defencemen on one-way contracts, so it appears Postma, Derek Meech and Brett Festerling, who all have two-way deals, are fighting an uphill battle just to remain with the big club, let alone dress when the season begins on Oct. 9.

Postma has two goals and three assists in three pre-season games, but the 6-foot-3, 195-pound native of Red Deer, Alta., knows he needs his defensive play to stand out just as much on Friday night.

That’s a lot for a 22-year-old to concentrate on, so he wasn’t trying to put too much thought into the fact he was scratched from Wednesday’s 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Was it a good sign? Your guess is as good as his.

“I don’t want to look into things too much,” he said. “If I’m not playing I’m not playing, so I took it as a night off where I could rest up for Friday’s game.”

Head coach Claude Noel has tried to stress to his players through his daily media briefings that getting cut in training camp is not the end of the road, that a good showing before the season will be remembered once it begins.

That’s all fine and dandy, but these guys would be willing to trade their first born children for a spot in the lineup next Sunday against the Montreal Canadiens.

“Obviously guys want to make it right out of camp, and opening night here is going to be something else,” Postma said. “This is probably one of the best places to play in the league right now, and the atmosphere and the energy is awesome.

“If you have a good camp, are one of the last guys cut and go back down to the American league, there’s a good chance you’re going to get called up. I mean, guys don’t stay healthy forever.”


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