(This article was submitted by Aaron Vickers of Future Considerations. He and FC will be providing the Nations with material on notable prospects this season)
By: Aaron Vickers**
His NHL career hasn’t taken off quite yet, but that hasn’t stopped Paul Postma from dreaming about being a Jet.
The Red Deer, AB. native originally drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers 205th overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft has spent the last two seasons with the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.
Now, said Postma, is the time to take his game to the next level.
“I want to be there so bad and I’m going to do everything I can to be there,” he said.
He’s been there before, if only for a moment.
Postma got a sniff of the NHL last season, playing in a March 9th contest against the Carolina Hurricanes. Though he played just 9:55, the experience was more than enough to motivate the former Calgary Hitmen standout.
“It was amazing,” said Postma, who had 33 assists and 45 points in 69 games with the Wolves last season. “It’s totally different hockey. Players are a lot smarter. The game is just so much different. Sure it is faster and guys are stronger but I love the pace and the tempo and I thought I played really well when I was up there and I look forward to playing more next year.”
With few spots open on the Jets’ blueline, Postma will have his work cut out for him. Winnipeg has six defensemen on one-way contracts, not including restricted free agent and former third overall pick Zach Bogosian.
Still, a clean start with new surroundings has Postma optimistic about his chances.
“With the new team, new staff, new coaching, everyone gets a fresh start. Hopefully I get a longer look and can make the team.”
And Postma has the right attitude as a prospect trying to capture his first full-time role in the National Hockey League. “I don’t know where I’ll be next year, whether it is Winnipeg or St. John’s, but I try to not even think about the American league right now,” said the 22-year-old. “I don’t want to be there. I don’t want to be back in that league.”
That’s not a slight on the American Hockey League by any means. In fact, Postma credits the AHL for readying him for the jump to the NHL.
“I think it definitely helped,” he admitted. “For a defenseman, usually bit of late bloomers when they progress, getting those minutes (in Chicago) was big. I learned a lot, more in my second year, just from older guys watching them play and working on my defensive game and becoming more of an all-around player. I think I worked on that and got better on that.”
And good enough, Postma hopes, to fly as a Jet.
**Aaron Vickers is the managing editor of Future Considerations and can be found on Twitter. Follow the latest Future Considerations news and posts, follow FC’s Official Twitter Feed, on YouTube and on Facebook!