The wait is over for David Gustafsson.
The Swedish-born forward cracked the Winnipeg Jets roster out of training camp and will finally make his NHL debut tonight.
The Jets (4-3-0) host the Arizona Coyotes (1-2-1) at Bell MTS Place at 7 p.m. Gustafsson will centre a fourth line of Gabriel Bourque and Mason Appleton.
Mark Letestu has been sidelined by an undisclosed injury and is listed as day to day.
Gustafsson said he got the good news from head coach Paul Maurice while eating breakfast.
“It was a special feeling. It’s going to be a big day,” said 19 year old from Tingsryd, Sweden. “I mean, it’s the thing you’ve been dreaming about ever since you were a little kid, so it’s going to be a big night.”
Gustafsson, a Jets’ second-round pick (60th overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft, said he immediately called home to tell his parents.
It’s a 2 a.m. puck drop in Sweden but the Gustafsson household in Tingsryd, about 500 kilometres south of Stockholm, will be wide awake.”I got the call this morning, so they don’t have time to come here, but I’ve called them and everything, so they’ll probably stay up watching,” he said, following the morning skate.
“Both my parents started to cry. So it was an emotional reaction from them.”
Adam Lowry will play between Jack Roslovic and Mathieu Perreault tonight. Patrik Laine, who leads the Jets with 11 points this season, will play on the top line with Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele.
Things will remain the same on defence for the Jets, meaning rookie Ville Heinola will miss a third straight game.
Connor Hellebuyck will be back in the Jets net. Hellebuyck has a 3-1 record on the year and is sporting a 2.50 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage. Laurent Brossoit got the start Sunday in the team’s 7-2 drubbing at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins at Bell MTS Place.
Injured centre Bryan Little was still wearing a non-contact yellow jersey at practice this morning.
Former Jets goalie Eric Comrie is back in town tonight. Comrie, who was claimed by the Coyotes on waivers earlier this month, is Arizona’s third-string goalie. Arizona is coming off of a 3-2 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche Saturday.
Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of.
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