Nikolaj Ehlers (Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)
Winnipeg Jets rookie Nikolaj Ehlers’ first career goal was stunning. On the power play, Ehlers wound up and hammered a jaw-dropping slap shot past New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist.
Nikolaj Ehlers’ first career goal wasn’t fair.
That’s not to say the Winnipeg Jets rookie scored on a questionable play or that New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was interfered with. It wasn’t that Ehlers was given a wide-open net to throw the puck into, either. No, Ehlers’ goal wasn’t fair because there shouldn’t be a 19-year-old alive who can blast a puck past a world class netminder like Lundqvist with breathtaking pinpoint accuracy for their first career NHL marker.
In Tuesday’s game, with the Jets on the power play, Ehlers took a pass from Tyler Myers and walked in towards the Rangers’ net. With his head up, Ehlers unloaded an absolute bomb of a slap shot that went directly into the top corner:
Feel free to watch that a few times and really take it in. Ehlers walks in and never drops his head. Staring right at his target, he rips a slap shot that had to be nearing on 100mph. The sound the shot makes off the post is incredible. Lundqvist’s ears had to have been ringing.
Just four games into his NHL career, Ehlers has shown why he deserved his spot on the Jets’ roster out of training camp. He now has a goal and three points, is leading Winnipeg with 15 shots on net and is making an impact on the Jets’ second power play unit. All of that while skating little more than 15 minutes per night. If this is Ehlers’ version of getting his feet wet, coach Paul Maurice might be wise to see what happens if the rookie dives in head first.
It was rumored if Ehlers didn’t make the Winnipeg roster out of training camp, he would instead decide to play overseas for the remainder of this season. It doesn’t appear sticking with the Jets is going to be a problem for Ehlers, however. After back-to-back 100-point campaigns in the QMJHL, Ehlers is likely in the NHL to stay.