As the season comes to a close, the majority of Jets players will be booking flights out of town to enjoy cottage country and the golf courses.
But for youngsters Nelson Nogier and Kyle Connor, there’s more work to be done before preparation for next season becomes underway as the two will head to the Manitoba Moose to play out the team’s remaining three games of the season.
Nogier, 20, was recalled by the Jets as the team battled a plethora of injuries to their backend and to the surprise of many, the first year pro didn’t look completely out of place with the big club. In his time with the Jets, the Saskatoon native showcased his speed and mistake-free game while logging roughly eleven minutes a night. What made his play in the NHL such a surprise was that before the recall, Nogier was far from a stand-out with the Moose and while his play was steadily improving, he remained far from one of the Moose’s top D-men.
Nevertheless, the call-up experience gave Nogier a benchmark of where he has to be to make it to the next level for next season and furthermore, gave him a taste of a more fast-tempo style of game. The 10-game-stint will surely beneficial for Nogier and it’ll be interesting to see if he has an extra step in his game in the remaining games of the Moose season.
While it may have only been one game, Kyle Connor impressed in his return to the Jets lineup. After tearing the AHL up with 42 points in 49 games, Connor carried over his offensive momentum to the NHL stage, where he notched a slick breakaway goal.
KYLE CONNOR!!! pic.twitter.com/GjnNlm69GK
— GameTimeArt ™ (@GameTimeArt) April 9, 2017
Connor started last night’s game alongside Andrew Copp and Chris Thorburn before being bumped up to the team’s third line alongside Adam Lowry and Joel Armia. A noticeable improvement in Connor’s game is his compete level. During the 20-year-old’s first stint with the Jets, Connor looked rather disengaged without the puck and his defensive game wasn’t up to par with the big leagues. Since fine-tuning his game with the Moose, Connor looked like a much more rounded player in the game against Nasvhille.
The experience of an NHL call-up, no matter how long or short, serves as a vital component to a prospects development. In the case of Nogier, getting NHL experience and the oppurtunity to play with high-end players goes a long way on and off the ice. For Connor, the second call-up with the Jets should serve as somewhat of a confidence booster, with it being apparent that Connor can keep pace and compete with the Jets.
Kyle’s trip back down to the Moose will not be out with some rewards as well as the team announced Connor won both the club’s Rookie of the Year and MVP awards for the 2016-17 season.
Nogier, Connor and the rest of the Manitoba Moose face off against the Tuscon Roadrunners at 2:00pm CT, for the team’s final home game.