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He’s not done with that mindset just yet.
“I came to camp with a mentality that I was going to do everything in my power to stay here,” Pelletier said. “And now it’s kind of like the same, but to win that gold. If I have to block 10 shots in a row, I think I’m ready to do it. If I have to sit on the bench for 10 or 20 minutes … I’m gonna do whatever the coach says for this team to win.”
Treliving doesn’t expect the 5-foot-10, 172-lb. buzz-saw from Quebec City to be stapled to the bench.
Pelletier can produce — he piled up 32 goals and 82 points in 57 appearances last season in the QMJHL — but is expected to be cast in more of a checking and energy role for Canada. He has been working his off-wing on a shutdown line with Alex Newhook and Bragg Creek’s Dylan Holloway and should also be a regular on the penalty-kill unit.
“I think he’s going to be a really important player for that team,” Treliving said. “Jakob does a lot of good things. He has skill. He has speed. He’s intelligent. But what he does, on every team he’s played on, the coach just trusts him. So I anticipate that he’s going to be playing in really key moments.
“In critical areas, coaches are going to play people they trust, and he just earns that trust. And I think he touches every part of the game. Power play? He can play it. Five-on-five? He can play it. Penalty kill? He can play it. Late, a big draw in his end? He can play it. Up a goal, protecting a lead? He can play in that situation.
“So I think he’s going to be a guy who coaches look at — and they always have throughout his career — and say, ‘Ok, it’s an important situation. I want Jakob part of it.’ ”
Pelletier wanted to be a part of it last year.
Robbed of that opportunity by injury, he quickly turned his frustrations into fuel for this opportunity.
Asked what he hopes to prove to Flames fans who will be watching the action on their flat-screens over the next couple of weeks, his response was telling.
“A guy who never gives up. A guy who gives 100 per cent every shift. A guy who is willing to do whatever it takes to win,” Pelletier said. “At the end of the day, that’s what I want them to see — a winner.”