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Heynora aims to break Jets roster as Bowness focuses on strengthening defense

WINNIPEG — Feels like Rick Bowness is talking about the elements he’s talking about as he rattled off how he hopes to improve the defensive force this season and the qualities he’s looking for in the group I couldn’t help but understand. Find it in the Ville Heinola game.

Whether it’s the aggressive nature Bowness is looking for or the willingness to join the rush and provide a second wave of offense, the 2019 Winnipeg Jets first-round pick is a sure bet in these areas, among others. The type of player who can contribute to

So is it safe to put Heinola on the opening day roster against the New York Rangers on October 14th?

not so soon

Heinola is one of the players in the limelight in the land of opportunities to be offered during the first training camp for Bowness and his coaching staff.

Some of his best qualities are matched by the Jets not doing enough work last season.

This group needs a sharper zone exit, and Heinola’s vision and passing ability could stand out if he can earn the trust of Bowness and company over the next three weeks.

“Listen, this kid can move the puck. He’s got great wheels on the puck. Keep your head up. I get it all,” said Bowness. “But we have to learn, can we beat this guy? Skills that drive your game, everything pops out at you Win by competition, team system, buy-in and more.

“Those are things that come out during exhibition games. And those who don’t quite understand it show they’re not ready. We like what we’re seeing and he’s doing what we’re told we can do.”

After bursting onto the scene and making the Jets rather unexpectedly, just a few months after being voted 20th overall at the age of 18, Heinola’s development stalled somewhat.

It’s not that he hasn’t improved. Because it is clear that he is improving in many areas. His rapid progress is that he hit a series of speed bumps. This is pretty normal for most young blueliners.

Even if you get an early taste of the NHL, it can be hard to keep up if you’re still looking for a regular and sustainable job at that level three years later.

A person can become a victim of their own early success if they wish.

So the challenge is to do everything in your power to focus on being able to figure out that open position instead of focusing on racing against time.

“Patience,” Jets defenseman Brenden Dillon said. “It’s very difficult to have patience, especially when you feel like you’re already in your 10th year in the league when you’re really only in your second or third year. We had a rough season, you know, we had a corona crisis year and even last year there were a lot of trades going on and it’s easy for young players to get frustrated.”

“Whether it’s putting your mind in the wrong place and starting something that doesn’t help you get to the next level, I think it’s a kudos to Will. He really sticks to it. He was a step up last year, maybe he didn’t play as many games as he would have liked, but you can see he’s working.”

Heinora realizes that most people see him as an offensive defenseman, as the attacking side of the pack is where most of his strengths reside.

Through his efforts to become a better all-around player, Heinola has openly embraced the opportunity to show that he can play shorthanded in the NHL, making his way to penalty kills for the Manitoba Moose.

He doesn’t want to be seen as a one-trick pony and will never be known for throwing a plethora of bone-shaking hits, but Heinola adds to the physical element of his game the angles and I’ve been working on stick positions. .

The biggest test going forward will be his risk-reward profile and how he manages that area of ​​the game.

The aggressive nature of Bowness’ system in place should be a good fit for Heinora’s strengths, but the balance between knowing when you can pinch down a winger and when you have the green light to join or lead the rush. must be found.

“I feel like it’s all about trusting yourself,” Heynora said. He got solid scouting reports on Bowness over the summer from his fellow Finns and Dallas Stars defensemen Milo Huiskanen and Esa Lindell. “It’s always nice to have a fresh start. For me, I think the biggest thing is that I learn a lot. They teach me things that other coaches don’t.

“You still have to get a spot and do all the work, so I get a spot. I think you can probably give me some ice time.

Bowness made the crucial decision at the start of training camp to pair some young D-Men with veterans to make sure they felt at home and had the best chance to shine.

For Heinola, that means being the most physical member of the defense, having played 733 games in the NHL and playing alongside the most experienced player, Brenden Dillon.

Dylan Samberg is with Nate Schmidt, Declan Chisholm is with Dylan DeMelo, and Johnny Kovacevic is with Josh Morrissey.

Add in Logan Stanley, Kyle Capobianco, Ashton Thortner and Leon Gawanke, and it’s clear that some difficult roster decisions are on the horizon.

“Trial and error, that’s the only way.” We have to see what works and what doesn’t, who is struggling and who looks good together.”

“We have some good young Ds. I love their mobility. They have size so they can be physical. Or we’ll probably go down the road and show it, maybe by Christmas, players will eventually cut themselves, not just for the Winnipeg Jets, but for every team. There are always hard decisions to make at the end of camp, and when we get there, we have a group discussion there and then we go from there.”

Heynora aims to break Jets roster as Bowness focuses on strengthening defense

Source link Heynora aims to break Jets roster as Bowness focuses on strengthening defense

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