HALIFAX - The Herd‚Äôs ‚Äúdashing Dane‚ÄĚ inked his deal with the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, signing an entry-level contract worth an average of $1.625 million annually over three years.
© Metro Halifax/Jeff Harper
Halifax Mooseheads forward Nikolaj Ehlers, 18, has signed a three-year, entry level contract with the Winnipeg Jets, worth about $1.6 million annually.
Second-year Halifax Mooseheads winger Nikolaj Ehlers, 18, was selected 9th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia, Penn., this past June.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a great sign of confidence on their side to be signing Nick right away,‚ÄĚ Mooseheads head coach Dominique Ducharme said Tuesday.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm not surprised by that,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs some good news for him.‚ÄĚ
The quick-footed forward from Aalborg, Denmark, notched 49 goals and 55 assists for 104 points total in 63 games, in addition to 51 penalty minutes, during his first QMJHL regular season. He added 11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points, along with 18 penalty minutes, in 16 playoff games.
The Jets can expect ‚Äúspeed‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúgood vision on the ice‚ÄĚ when Ehlers gets called up to Winnipeg, Ducharme said. ‚ÄúHe finds the holes; he creates chances for himself with his speed, with his agility.‚ÄĚ
Ehlers, who was also named the Canadian Hockey League‚Äôs rookie of the year last season, will attend Jets training camp later this month.
Also going NHL camping are 19-year-old Herd netminder Zachary Fucale, who will take to the ice with the Montreal Canadiens, 19-year-old defenceman Matt Murphy, who will will lace up with the Ottawa Senators, and 18-year-old forward Daniel Moynihan, who was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs part of junior hockey,‚ÄĚ Ducharme said of the annual process of losing key players, at least temporarily. ‚ÄúOther teams will have the same thing, so we‚Äôre just preparing ourselves to be ready on the 12th.‚ÄĚ
The Moose open their 2013-14 season Sept. 12 on the road against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. But fist, the Herd play their final pre-season game this Saturday, Sept. 6 , taking on the Screaming Eagles in Cape Breton.
After a few days off over the long weekend, they were back to daily practice and off-ice training Tuesday at the Halifax Civic Centre.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre seeing improvement every day,‚ÄĚ Ducharme said, ‚Äúand that‚Äôs what we‚Äôre looking for. Guys are working hard.‚ÄĚ