Keaton Ellerby (left) hits Edmonton Oilers' Nail Yakupov during the third period of their NHL hockey game in Edmonton February 19, 2013. The Winnipeg Jets claimed Ellerby off waivers on Saturday and he'll make his Jets debut on Monday against Detroit. (Dan Riedlhuber/REUTERS file)
WINNIPEG - Keaton Ellerby is being thrown right into the fire.
After being claimed off waivers on Saturday, Ellerby had his first practice on Sunday and he’ll be in the lineup Monday against the Detroit Red Wings.
“It’s good to be here, good to get on the ice with the team and get to know the guys and get it underway,” said Ellerby, who hasn’t appeared in a game yet this season but has 160 NHL games on his resume with the Florida Panthers and Los Angeles Kings. “It was interesting, getting put on waivers, and picked up by a Canadian team that’s relatively close to home (Calgary). It’s exciting. It’s a great opportunity for myself to step in here and try and help the Winnipeg Jets out. I'm definitely excited to get an actual game in tomorrow.”
The Jets also recalled defenceman Zach Redmond from the St. John’s IceCaps and returned Ben Chiarot and Julian Melchiori to the American Hockey League.
Jets head coach Claude Noel wasn’t ready to commit to having Redmond — who had been dealing with a lower-body injury for the past month but appeared in a pair of games on the weekend — in the lineup Monday, but didn’t rule him out either.
“I probably would like to get him in practice and get him engaged with our team a little bit, so we’ll see if we’re going to put him in the game,” said Noel. “It’s an asset that he’s comfortable and we’re comfortable with him. He’s a guy that’s a prospect that can get in our lineup and play. He gives us some experience.
“I’m looking forward to having him back. He’s a real good teammate as well. After going through what he’s gone through, it’s good that he’s back with us.”
Forward Evander Kane skipped Sunday’s workout for maintenance but will be available Monday.
The Jets are 5-8-2 and have lost three consecutive games, while the Red Wings are off to a 9-4-2 after shifting to the Eastern Conference this season.