The Winnipeg Jets are a prospect-heavy team and many of them are playing in St. Johns with the IceCaps. Some of the IceCaps players could have been playing with the big club this season. With the NHL on the verge of cancellation, now may be a good time to follow the IceCaps.
Here are three players that you need to know...
One of the Jets' top prospects is an under-the-radar player.
Ivan Telegin is making his AHL debut this year after finishing his career in the OHL. Other than the fact that Telegin played on the same team as another fellow Jets prospect in Barrie (Mark Scheifele), people don't know much about him.
One thing that you should know about Telegin is that he's a pure goal scorer. He's scored goals in the past and will so again in the future. However, his current struggles prove that it will take some time for him to adapt.
The young and flashy Russian isn't doing so well in his first year with the IceCaps. In 21 games, Telegin has just two goals and four assists. Performance and statistics aside, Telegin is someone every Jets fan should know about.
His under-performing in St. John's is probably a result of him trying to become familiar with a more professional hockey environment. Also, every IceCaps fan will tell you that Telegin has to shoot the puck more because as of today, he only has 29 shots in those 21 games. A gifted goal scorer has to shoot the puck much more than that.
Aside from that, Telegin is still just a kid playing hockey. At the age of 20, Telegin is already listed at 6'3" and 198 pounds. If he continues to put on weight, he may just develop a frame that resembles that of Ilya Kovalchuk.
A lot of Jets fans should already be familiar with Paul Postma. If not, then now is the time.
Postma is one of the more gifted offensive-defenseman in the Jets' entire organization. He has unquestionably superb offensive skills. He's been a goal-scoring machine from the blue line in every league he's played in. He's all about the offense.
So why hasn't he had a shot in the NHL yet? Well, he sort of has and hasn't. Postma was outstanding in the preseason of last year with the Jets. However, he didn't make the team at the start of the season. A short three-game stint was all he saw towards the end of the season. Three games isn't nearly enough to make an impression.
There's room for improvement on the defensive side of things, but that's not what's keeping him out of the NHL. There are a number of defensemen who can't play a lick of defense, yet manage to find their way into the NHL. Postma would have probably seen extended playing time this year if it weren't for the lockout.
Postma has played in 13 games with the IceCaps this season and is picking up where he left off. He has three goals and five assists and looks as lethal as ever. It's only a matter of time before he gets a real stint with Winnipeg.
Spencer Machacek got his big break with Winnipeg towards the end of last season. He took every advantage of his opportunity and certainly made the most of it. Now Jets fans are wondering if Machacek can become a stable in Winnipeg as a third liner.
What to watch for in St. Johns is how Machacek progresses and develops his game even more. He'll certainly get another opportunity in Winnipeg again, but how he performs with the IceCaps this season will be crucial. He's one of the main leaders in the IceCaps locker room.
Machacek isn't all about offense. In fact, his outburst last season could be looked at as overachieved play. What he is all about though is hard work, energy and defensive talent. If he provides even the slightest of offense it would be a bonus.
In 22 games with the IceCaps, Machacek is second in points with four goals and eight assists. What statistics don't show is how good he's been in other categories.
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