Bryan Little has been a mainstay at first line centre since the Winnipeg Jets since they returned to Winnipeg in 2011.
On the opening day of training camp in preparation for the 2015-16 season, Paul Maurice threw out a new look line with Adam Lowry centering Andrew Ladd on the left, and Little on the right.
After the skate, Bryan Little was asked about moving to the wing:
“I just found out about it last week, it’s something that Mo (Head Coach Paul Maurice) mentioned to me. Not a lot to report after day 1. I’ve played wing before, it’s practice right now, it’s training camp. Kind of tough to gauge right now until you get into a game or a scrimmage. Practice went smooth today.
The way he brought it up, I think it’s a trial to see how it goes. Training camp is a time of year where you can experiment a bit and fool around with the lines. I’m glad we’re doing it right now to see if it works out before the season gets started”
While Little has occupied the centre position for the last several years, he does have some experience on wing with the Atlanta Thrashers.
“I had the 30 goals one year, the next year I had 13 which was my worst year. That was six or seven years ago, it’s definitely been a while since I’ve played wing. For a centremen definitely an easier adjustment to switch to the wing than for a winger to adjust to play centre. He said if I have a problem with it, or if I feel like it’s not working to tell him, so right now it is kind of a go and see how it plays out.”
Part of the reason for the experimentation is the depth that the Jets have accumulated on centre, currently Bryan Little, Adam Lowry, Mark Scheifele Mathieu Perreault and Alex Burmistrov are all capable of playing centre.
“I think that’s why (Paul Maurice’s) looking at trying it to begin with. We have a lot of good young players coming into the system and a lot of guys who can play different positions. A lot of the young kids can play wing or centre and I think that speaks to the depth we have at centre too, that we can shuffle it around and put young kids in different positions, it speaks to the depth of the team.”
Little’s move to centre and where those ‘young kids’ end up in the Jets roster will be something to watch going forward.