By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
If Saturday’s 3-2 win by the Winnipeg Jets was any indication, the future has never looked brighter in Manitoba’s capital.
Two rookies, one 19-years-old, the other 20, led the way for the Jets in their third-straight win since the departure of Claude Noel.
Jacob Trouba, who scored the game-tying and then game-winning goals, had a total of five shots on the night, two of which propelled the Jets out of early adversity and into utter ecstasy in the end.
“We were just having fun and kind of rolling with it,” said Trouba who refused to take any personal accolades. “I thought everybody played well today. Nobody got down there when we were down a goal there and when they tied it at the end; we responded well. I think everybody was pretty happy with how we played.”
Mark Scheifele scored the go-ahead goal for the Jets at the 10:37 mark of the third after taking a beating in front of the net. The goal was an important one for Scheifele being that it was just his first goal ever at the MTS Centre during the regular season. It was also his 27th point of the year, moving him into second place in rookie scoring, two points shy of Nathan Mackinnon.
“It felt pretty good, I was definitely pretty pumped about it,” said Scheifele with a smile from ear-to-ear. “It was pretty cool, I think the fans were giving us a lot energy today and the whole team seemed to play for each other and for the team and I think that was a huge thing.”
It would seem the two rookies are acutely aware with both how the one another plays, and about their roles now and expected roles in the future.
“Obviously, Jake getting two really, really big goals, he had an unbelievable game,” said Scheifele. “It is just a matter of we want to win and that is the main thing. We want to be a part of a winning team and just want to do whatever it takes to win.”
The efforts of the teams’ youngest stars don’t go unnoticed in the dressing room.
“One day real soon, Scheif’s and Troub’s are going to be the guys with the reins on this team,” said Blake Wheeler who fed Trouba the pass that led to the overtime winner. “They have a special ability, they do things out there that not everyone can do and to have them on your side is extremely exciting for the present but also for the future.
“I was telling Scheif’s the other day on the bench, he is flying out there and has a lot of confidence going, and I am just trying to keep building them up, letting him know he is going to be the man here soon enough.
“They are a big part of our team,” added Jets’ captain Andrew Ladd. “They have done a good job of elevating their game, they have been all ears and have got better and better. Their future’s are bright.”