January 19, 2017 6:30 pm
Updated: January 19, 2017 8:07 pm

Team Jennifer Jones unveiled as the top seed for the Manitoba Scotties

Team Jones skip Jennifer Jones, left to right, third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer and lead Dawn McEwen pose with the trophy after defeating Team Homan at the Canada Cup of Curling final against Team Homan in Brandon, Man., on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Michael Burns
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WINNIPEG — Just six more sleeps until the start of the Manitoba Scotties Tournament Of Hearts and on Thursday Curl Manitoba unveiled this year’s seeds.

Seven time champion Jennifer Jones was an easy choice for the top seed as they return to provincials after a one year hiatus where they had a direct entry to nationals as the defending champions. The defending provincial champion Kerri Einarson rink grabbed the second seed followed by Michelle Englot, Briane Meilleur and Darcy Robertson.

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“Ultimately at the end of the week it doesn’t matter what seed we are,” Team Jones second Jill Officer said.

“We just want to be number one at the end of the week so we’re hoping to have a good week and perform really well and perform our best, and hope that it works for us.”

Team Jones has won two of the eight events they’ve entered on the World Curling Tour this season, getting crowned champions at the Canada Cup Of Curling and at the Dekalb Superspiel.

“We’ve had some really good games. We’ve had a couple of tough finishes,” said Officer. “We’re gonna have to pick up our socks a little bit. The depth this year is really great. We’re seeing a lot of Manitoba teams on the grand slam tour so everyone is getting better.”

RELATED: East St. Paul’s Kerri Einarson reacts to winning first Manitoba Scotties title

Englot is now skipping Kristy McDonald’s old team after she retired. They were last year’s runners-up after losing to Einarson in the final. This year’s field also includes 2011 provincial champion skip Cathy Overton-Clapham.

“There’s a lot of great teams in this field,” said Einarson. “We’re definitely going to have to bring our game every single game. I know we’ve been gearing up for it and been practicing a lot, so yeah, just excited to get it started next week.”

The provincial Scotties returns to the city of Winnipeg for the first time in 15 years with this year’s event to be contested at the Eric Coy Arena.

The opening draw is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

WATCH: Jill Officer & Kerri Einarson discuss this year’s Manitoba Scotties Tournament Of Hearts

RELATED: Team McDonald unveiled as top seed for 2016 Manitoba Scotties

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