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Winnipeg Jets vets all set for camp

Winnipeg Jets players prepare for the start of training camp. Russ Hobson / Global News

WINNIPEG — More and more players on the Winnipeg Jets are arriving with each passing day as they continue to skate on their own with just a handful of sleeps left until the start of main camp. Players like Andrew Ladd, Mathieu Perreault, Mark Stuart, Jacob Trouba, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler honing their skills, but it’s about to get real with their first skate of training camp on Friday.

“It was obviously an exciting end to the year last year,” Wheeler said. “Getting out there in the playoffs was an exciting time for us. So kinda left a bitter sweet taste the way it all shook out, so we’re chomping at the bit to get going again.”

Dustin Byfuglien was skating on Tuesday without equipment on a separate ice surface. The rookies weren’t taking part either after concluding the Young Stars Classic and forward Andrew Copp only upping his stock after scoring two goals in the final game against the Edmonton Oilers.

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“I had some chances early on in the tournament,” Copp said. “It was good to get rewarded for those opportunities and finally put some in the net. Playing with (Nikolaj) Ehlers and (Michael) Spacek we had some good chemistry I thought. Especially in the first period you know, we created a lot of chances so I was just happy to be on the end of that.”

Copp will also be happy if he can crack the Jets 23-man roster and help them get back to the playoffs. But the Jets still aren’t getting a whole lot of respect according to Wheeler.

“We still carry a chip on our shoulder.” Wheeler said. “We’re still not getting the respect that we think our group deserves. It’s hard to ignore, you know people, you know prognosticators, and forecasting what’s gonna shake out. We realize we have a tough division, but you know we like where we’re at in that mix. You don’t have to go very far to find out where people are picking us to finish.”

The Jets will get a chance to prove them all wrong when the regular season begins on Oct. 8 in Boston.

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