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Exhibition Game #03 Preview and GDT: Edmonton Oilers at Winnipeg Jets

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Have you heard, it’s Patrik Laine’s first game!

2016 NHL Draft - Round One
It’s time.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Tonight is the night which will define Patrik Laine’s career as a Winnipeg Jet: his pre-season debut.

Okay, perhaps not, but so begins what will be an intense and hopefully long relationship between the 6’4" Finn and Winnipeg Jets fans. It’s been assumed, with good reason, that Laine is NHL-ready. For fans especially, tonight starts the process of proving (or disproving) that assumption.

Believe it or not, there are other players in tonight’s match against the Edmonton Oilers. Dustin Byfuglien, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler will also be making their pre-season debuts (no, playing in the World Cup of Hockey doesn’t count), with Wheeler and Scheifele skating alongside Kyle Connor on the top line.

Laine will naturally have chemistry with fellow Finn Joel Armia on a second line centred by Nic Petan, while the third line of Alexander Burmistrov - Adam Lowry - Brandon Tanev could easily be an opening night fourth line preview.

Meanwhile, the Josh Morrissey - Paul Postma experiment continues, Buff is reunited with Tobias Enstrom, Mathieu Perreault is injured and Michael Hutchinson gets the start.

It’s a night of first appearances, as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins plays in his first exhibition game for Edmonton. He’ll do so while serving as pivot to Benoit Pouliot and that other 2016 NHL draft Finnish phenom, Janne Kuokkanen Jesse Puljujarvi. College free agent signing Drake Caggiula will centre a continuing free agent in Kris Versteeg, while fans will get to see if Adam Larsson was worth trading Taylor Hall (the answer: probably not).

Have fun folks, temper your Patrik Laine expectations to mere mortal levels, and be sure to share you thoughts and observations in the comments section below!

When/Where:

Friday, Sept. 30, 7:00 p.m. CT, MTS Centre
TV Broadcast: WinnipegJets.com or TSN GO (Jets region)
Radio: TSN 1290

Winnipeg Jets Projected Lineup
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Kyle Connor Mark Scheifele Blake Wheeler
Patrik Laine Nic Petan Joel Armia
Alexander Burmistrov Adam Lowry Brandon Tanev
Quinton Howden Chase De Leo Chris Thorburn
Left Defence
Right Defence
Tobias Enstrom Dustin Byfuglien
Josh Morrissey Paul Postma
Julian Melchiori Jan Kostalek
Goaltenders
Michael Hutchinson
Ondrej Pavelec

Edmonton Oilers Projected Lineup
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Benoit Pouliot
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Jesse Puljujarvi
Matt Hendricks Mark Letestu Zack Kassian
Jujhar Khaira Drake Caggiula Kris Versteeg
Iiro Pakarinen Anton Lander Anton Slepyshev
Left Defence
Right Defence
Oscar Klefbom Adam Larsson
Jordan Oesterle Mark Fayne
Griffin Reinhart Matthew Benning
Goaltenders
Cam Talbot
Laurent Brossoit