By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
Keaton Ellerby was claimed off waivers this past week by the Winnipeg Jets (5-8-2) and despite not seeing any game action this year, will make his first start tonight for the Jets when they welcome the Detroit Red Wings (9-4-2) to the MTS Centre.
“I may not have played a game yet but we definitely put in a lot of work with the coaching staff down in L.A., ” said Ellerby. “It was frustrating not playing, nobody likes to sit out, but there was eight or nine guys there to start the year so it was a tough lineup to crack.
“But I am ready to come in here and just work hard and help the Jets win.”
Ellerby, who is not known for his offensive prowess, says his game is more aligned with a physical, stay-at-home approach.
“A physical style of play, big guy, bang and crash, block shots, kill penalties, get back quick, get the puck up to the forwards and let them do their job and just try and keep the puck out of my end as much as possible,” Ellerby said.
Ellerby sees the Jets’ team as one of size and skill.
“They are a big team, you look around the room and there is a huge locker room in here, so I think it is a hard-working, physical style of play from what I have seen,” said Ellerby. “I just looks like a hard-working team with a lot of skill. I just got to come in and try to contribute to that and help out that way.”
Ellerby will be in the lineup tonight against the Red Wings, look for him to partner with Adam Pardy.
Meanwhile, the Jets recalled defenceman Zach Redmond from the St. John’s IceCaps on Sunday. Redmond, who has played just two games this season with Winnipeg’s AHL affiliate, will most likely be a healthy scratch as he gets up to speed again, but is ready to contribute at any time.
“Feels good,” said Redmond. “Obviously, I got hurt right at the beginning of the year down there, I thought I got that all out of my system but you can never count on that. It felt great to play again.”
Redmond feels he just needs to play and the rest will come.
“The more ice you get the better you feel, at least I do, and I think a lot of guys feel that way.”