Nik Ehlers hits high in NHL rookie season with hat trick

Former Halifax Mooseheads star Nik Ehlers recorded his first NHL hat trick Tuesday night and is on a roll heading into the all-star break.

'It's awesome that I got the three goals but it's more important that we got the win'

Winnipeg beats Arizona 5-2. 0:28

Nik Ehlers' rookie season in the NHL has been a roller-coaster ride, but he hit a high Tuesday night in Winnipeg when the former Halifax Mooseheads star recorded his first NHL hat trick to lead his Jets to a 5-2 win over Arizona.

"It felt pretty good," Ehlers said in front of a crowd of reporters after the game.

"It's awesome that I got the three goals but it's more important that we got the win. It's nice to get a win before we go on break for sure."

That break in the schedule is for the NHL all-star game. Ehlers will have a few days off to celebrate his three-goal effort.

Winnipeg Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers, middle, celebrates with teammates after scoring to complete a hat trick against the Arizona Coyotes during the second period in Winnipeg on Tuesday. (Trevor Hagan/The Canadian Press)

Long, rough patch

The 19-year-old from Denmark burst out of training camp and got off to a great start. But like a lot of rookie players adjusting to the play in the world's best league, he hit a long, rough patch.

He went through a 33-game stretch where he scored just twice.

But in the last two weeks, his game has picked up significantly and he's been one of Winnipeg's top forwards. 

Nikolaj Ehlers was selected ninth overall by the Winnipeg Jets at the NHL draft in 2014. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

He now has 12 goals in 49 games.

In his two seasons of junior hockey in Halifax, Ehlers was a popular player. He registered a whopping 205 points in his two seasons with the Mooseheads.

Stalled careers

While the news is good with Ehlers, a couple of other former Mooseheads careers have stalled.

Jonathan Drouin has dominated NHL news after refusing to play for Tampa's minor league team in Syracuse

He was suspended without pay by the Tampa Bay Lightning and is now working out on his own in Quebec.  

Rumours continue to swirl regarding a trade to the struggling Montreal Canadiens. Those rumours will likely pick up even more after Montreal lost back-to-back games this week to Columbus, the worst team in the NHL.

And former Mooseheads captain Andrew Bodnarchuk's days with Colorado could be numbered.

The Hammonds Plains native was picked up by the Avalanche two weeks ago after he was put on waivers by Columbus. At the time, the Avalanche were dealing with some injuries on their blue line and Bodnarchuk got the call from Colorado GM Joe Sakic.

But with Erik Johnson now healthy, Bodnarchuk has been in and out of the lineup.

He was a healthy scratch for the Avalanche in the 6-1 loss last night against San Jose.

Logan Shaw in high gear

While Drouin and Bodnarchuk's careers are up in the air right now, Glace Bay's Logan Shaw is continuing to impress with the Florida Panthers.

The 23-year-old former Cape Breton Screaming Eagle is still getting lots of playing time since his call up from the minors a month into the season.

Shaw has never been known as a big scorer, but his solid play is keeping him in the Panthers lineup.

Florida is among the NHL's best teams at the moment and they're currently in first place in the Atlantic division.

About the Author

Paul Palmeter


Paul Palmeter is an award-winning video journalist born and raised in the Annapolis Valley. He has covered news and sports stories across the province for 25 years.


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