June 24, 2016…The draft pick that forever changed the Winnipeg Jets…Patrik Laine!! by Chuck Duboff

© Chuck Duboff

How very fortunate were the Winnipeg Jets to have the draft lottery balls fall in their favour!!  In a brief moment in time, the Winnipeg Jets franchise was forever changed.  The Jets now had their superstar, their sniper, their Alex Ovechkin.

Last night against the New York Rangers, Laine put on a show for the ages  in front of national and international media at Madison Square Garden, scoring all three goals in the Jets 3-0 win over the Rangers.  Laine now has 38 goals and is in second place, only 3 goals back of his boyhood hero, Alex Ovechkin….and he now sits at 74 goals as a teenager in the NHL!!!  “He might have the best shot in the whole NHL” Craig Button

How big has Patrik Laine gotten on the hockey stage?  After last night’s performance, the Finnish Ambassador to the United Nations wanted to meet Patrik.  Yet, with all this happening, Laine remains a fun, humble 19 year old, who “doesn’t care that people hate his beard”.  He’s 19 years old and having fun.  “I’ll shave it when the season is over sometime in May or June!!”  he responds with a churlish smile.

Laine scores

Winnipeg Jets fans can thank the hockey gods for this good turn in fortune and sit back and enjoy Laine make great goaltenders, like Henrik Lundqvist, look ordinary.

One of the classic moments last night, which best describes how even Jets players are in awe of number 29: after Laine sniped his second goal of the night, tv cameras caught Dustin Byfuglien smiling and shaking his head along with his teammates.  It’s gotta be a great feeling on the bench knowing that anytime Laine gets the puck there’s a great chance it’s going in the net.


Steve Valiquette: ‘Patrik Laine is the most dominant shooter in our game right now, more than Ovechkin.’

For those old enough to remember…this has the same exciting feeling that Teemu Selanne created in his rookie season.  Two dynamic Finnish hockey players making a great name for themselves in Winnipeg Jets colours!!



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