Niku, Comrie among 15 Jets hopefuls sent to Moose

Slick, puck-moving defenceman Sami Niku and goalie Eric Comrie were among 15 players demoted by the Winnipeg Jets Friday morning.

Both had solid seasons with the Manitoba Moose last season and look to continue their development with the Jets’ American Hockey League affiliate.

Niku suited up for five pre-season games with Winnipeg, scoring twice and setting up two other goals. He’s NHL-ready in terms of his skating and offensive instincts but needs to improve on the defensive side.

Those assigned to the Moose who are exempt from waivers include netminder Mikhail Berdin, blue-liners Nelson Nogier and Peter Stoykewych and forwards Skyler McKenzie (who had three pre-season tallies), C.J. Suess, Mason Appleton, Jansen Harkins and Kristian Reichel.

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Slick, puck-moving defenceman Sami Niku and goalie Eric Comrie were among 15 players demoted by the Winnipeg Jets Friday morning.

Both had solid seasons with the Manitoba Moose last season and look to continue their development with the Jets’ American Hockey League affiliate.

Niku suited up for five pre-season games with Winnipeg, scoring twice and setting up two other goals. He’s NHL-ready in terms of his skating and offensive instincts but needs to improve on the defensive side.

Those assigned to the Moose who are exempt from waivers include netminder Mikhail Berdin, blue-liners Nelson Nogier and Peter Stoykewych and forwards Skyler McKenzie (who had three pre-season tallies), C.J. Suess, Mason Appleton, Jansen Harkins and Kristian Reichel.

Five others — defenceman Cameron Schilling and forwards JC Lipon, Seth Griffith, Nicolas Kerdiles and Dennis Everberg — must clear waivers before reporting to the Moose.

The Jets still have 27 players on their roster: Goalies Connor Hellebuyck and Laurent Brossoit, defencemen Dustin Byfuglien, Joe Morrow, Jacob Trouba, Josh Morrissey, Tyler Myers, Dmitry Kulikov, Ben Chiarot, Tucker Poolman and Logan Stanley (injured), and forwards Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Kyle Connor, Bryan Little, Patrik Laine, Mathieu Perreault, Nikolaj Ehlers, Jack Roslovic, Kristian Vesalainen, Brendan Lemieux, Adam Lowry, Andrew Copp, Brandon Tanev, Marko Dano, Nic Petan (on leave) and Michael Spacek (injured).

They need to get down to a maximum of 23 players by the season-opener Thursday in St. Louis.

— Bell