Winnipeg Jets Fan Fest takes off at Bell MTS Iceplex

The Winnipeg Jets Fan Fest takes off Saturday and at least one hockey lover didn't let distance stop him from seeing his favourite players.

Pre-season starts with home game against Minnesota Wild on Monday

Winnipeg Jets fan Brasen Sim says he hopes to see the team's defence tighten up this year. (CBC)

The Winnipeg Jets Fan Fest took off Saturday morning, and at least one hockey lover didn't let distance stop him from being there to see his favourite players.

Brasen Sim, 11, and his mother drove five hours from Weyburn, Sask., to take in the pre-season practice and festivities at Bell MTS Iceplex.

"I'm hoping to see Dustin Byfuglien and Patrik Laine," said Brasen, adding he thinks Laine is an exciting addition to the team.

"Watching Laine, because of how good he was doing last year, I think that he could improve even more because of his young age and I think he'll shock rock it up."

Brasen said he hopes to see the Jets' defence pick up its game. "Last year, it was all offence instead of defence and so I think they just need to even that out a little bit more."

Graham Taylor and his four-year-old son Grady said they were at Fan Fest to check out the players and activities, and to celebrate the upcoming season.

"I think we have some amazing talent this year, it's just a matter of it all coming together," said Graham. "I'm really excited to watch another season of Scheifele and I think he's going to do some amazing things."

Aarika, 9, said she was hoping to see Dustin Byfuglien on Saturday. (CBC)

Aarika, 9 and Arun, 5, have been Jets fans since they were very young, said their mother, Mandeep. "We're very big fans of Jets, and we always watch games," she said. "Arun is a very big fan of Laine.

"We're excited and we hope they can make it to playoff," she added. 

The fourth annual Winnipeg Jets Fan Fest runs until 4 p.m. and is free for all fans. It includes the opportunity to watch two rosters of players as they take to the ice in training camp, games, activities, autograph sessions, player and coach interviews, and more.

Organizers said Saturday it was the first time the fest had been moved indoors. They were hoping for 3,500 people.


Winnipeg Jets pre-season action kicks off on Monday against the Minnesota Wild at Bell MTS Place at 7 p.m., and continues with a home game against the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday.


Elisha Dacey


Elisha Dacey was a journalist with CBC Manitoba. She is the former managing editor of Metro Winnipeg and her work has been seen in newspapers from coast to coast.