As a 15-year-old last season, Jett Woo got the chance to play in the Moose Jaw Warriors’ five-game series against the Brandon Wheat Kings in the second round of the WHL Playoffs.
The young defenceman handled himself well during the five games against the eventual WHL Champions.
Now with a full season at the major junior level under his belt, Woo is looking to be an impact player for the Warriors during what the team hopes is a lengthy playoff run.
“Coming up last year, I learned a lot of things from the vets and it helped me prepare for this upcoming series with Swift (Current), so I’m looking forward to it and hoping to make some more memories,” said Woo.
There’s a big difference between the regular season and playoff hockey as each shift brings an extra feeling of importance and the intensity goes to another level with the season on the line.
Woo feels that his game is built for playoff hockey.
“Over the years I’ve always been a bigger kid and throw my weight around, but especially with Swift, bodies are going to be crashing, we’re going to have some ice packs going, but we’ll push through it and keep the season going,” said Woo.
The 16-year-old defenceman has been a key part of the Warriors’ back-end throughout the season. As the year as progressed, Woo has become more comfortable using his six-foot, 194-pound frame to his advantage.
“I got much more comfortable, not even just on the ice, but in the dressing room and being able to trust my teammates,” said Woo. “I’ve gotten stronger in the gym and the season has really prepared me for the playoffs.”
Woo started to set the tone for the post-season over the Warriors’ final two regular season games against the Broncos this past weekend. Woo was a target for many of the Broncos through Saturday’s game at Mosaic Place, but refused to back down.
There was a telling moment late in the second period as Woo was able to get under the skin of Broncos’ 20-year-old Ryley Lindgren, who responded with a cross-check to Woo. The 16-year-old skated the other way, while Lindgren went to the penalty box, giving the Warriors a late power play opportunity that they converted on to start the third period.
“Obviously there’s some chirps going, but I was just trying to play my game and I wasn’t letting them get under my skin, I was trying to do the opposite, but this series with Swift is going to be a good one,” said Woo.
“People don’t like when you play hard and that’s why they were trying to pick on me.”
The Warriors dropped Friday’s game 2-1 in Swift Current, but responded with a 10-5 win at Mosaic Place on Saturday in the regular season finale. Moose Jaw finished with a 4-2-0-0 record against the Broncos during their regular season series.
“We’ve just got to keep playing how we’ve been playing this year, the way that we were taught things and the systems that we’ve been working on, but if we stick to the game plan that the coaches tell us, we’ll do great,” said Woo.
The Warriors and Broncos meet for Games 1 and 2 at Mosaic Place on Friday and Saturday. Get your tickets at the Mosaic Place Box Office or by heading to mjwarriors.ca.