Colin Jacobs is out to prove he can still play hockey.
After his first two games with the Prince George Cougars, he won't have any doubters.
Jacobs, a 19-year-old centreman who came to the Cats from the Seattle Thunderbirds in an August trade that sent defenceman Jesse Forsberg south, piled up six points during a season-opening doubleheader against the host Everett Silvertips. In a 6-0 Saturday win, he scored three goals and added two assists. The next night, he dished out another helper in a 7-6 shootout victory.
Jacobs, drafted in 2011 (fourth round, 107th overall) by the Buffalo Sabres, only played 44 games with the Thunderbirds last season because of a shoulder operation that kept him on the injured list for eight months. In those 44 contests, he struggled to find his form and recorded just 19 points.
So yes, he's looking to rebound in a big way and is thrilled with his start and that of his new club.
"I'm excited to get off on a good note here," said Jacobs, who hails from Coppell, Tex.
"I came back right after Christmas [last season] and it was tough getting into it simply because I was 40 games behind and they were at mid-season pace. It's a good thing to be healthy at the start of the season and we're looking strong this year."
With his early offensive explosion, Jacobs entered Wednesday tied for second in Western Hockey League scoring with Portland's Troy Rutkowski, who has six assists in three games. The current points leader is a Rutkowski teammate, Nicolas Petan, who has eight points on an equal number of goals and assists.
Jacobs scored his season-opening goal on a first-period penalty shot and kept his momentum going all weekend. He skated on a line with Alex Forsberg and Chase Witala, until Witala left Saturday's game with an upper body injury.
"I was just trying to do the simple things and it also helps having linemates like Alex Forsberg and Chase Witala," Jacobs said. "We've been clicking in practice. We've had some chemistry so far and it makes it easier playing with those two skilled guys. They cause a lot of turnovers, they attract a lot of attention, which obviously leaves someone open."
Cougars captain Brock Hirsche has had a close-up look at the magic Jacobs and company have been conjuring. Hirsche said Jacobs's work ethic has a lot to do with his brilliant beginning as a Cat.
"Ever since Colin showed up here, he has brought a hard-working attitude and has really shown that he wants to be here, which is nice," Hirsche said. "It was nice to see him get rewarded. He worked really hard and he really was an offensive catalyst.
"I expect a lot of great things from him going forward," Hirsche added. "He's got a powerful stride, he's got a terrific shot and his play-making ability is just awesome. I think offensively he brings attributes to the team that we maybe were lacking a little bit last season."
Jacobs has not yet been signed to a contract by the Sabres and that's something he'd like to change this season. He'll get his next chance to impress when the Cougars play their home-opening games Friday and Saturday (7 p.m., CN Centre) against his old team, the Thunderbirds.
For Jacobs, getting motivated won't be a problem.
"It'll be fun," he said. "I have a lot to prove to those guys as well."
Witala, a 17-year-old local product, is expected to be in the lineup.