It’s time to start looking ahead to June and the NHL Draft. The Jets find themselves in the predictable situation of vying for draft lottery position and are hoping to get a top 10 pi… wait…
I’m being told by some sources, that the Jets are in 1st place in the Central division (as of this writing) and are…
Waiting for confirmation.
*scrolls to NHL.com*
It’s true. The Jets after 49 games played find themselves in first in the Central and potentially are buyers ahead of the NHL trade deadline on February 26.
Lets take a look at 5 players that the Jets should, and likely could be looking at to add to the roster for a playoff push.
At 29, he doesn’t fit the draft and develop process that the Jets are trying to employ, but he brings a wealth of experience, and is currently enjoying a productive season (13G, 13A 26 PTS) by Edmonton Oilers standards. He was part of the Anaheim Ducks team that swept the Jets back in 2015 so you know that he has a lot of grit, something that the Jets like and need on the 3rd line. His salary and the fact that he’s a UFA this year means that the asking price shouldn’t be that high, but if the Jets do want to make this move a third round pick should be the expected price.
Staying with the Oilers, Letestu’s contract is similar to Maroon’s. Since being acquired by the Oilers, he’s been a ‘Jets killer” and given how the Oilers aren’t going to make the playoffs, that shouldn’t be a concern unless another team in the west outbids the Jets and ends up having to play him in the first or second round. With that in mind, it may be worth a fourth or a third round pick or maybe even a prospect to having him with the team instead of against the team.
This is a unique situation, as there is history here as Grabner spent time in Winnipeg from 2006-2010 as a member of the Manitoba Moose. Much like the cases above, Grabner is a free agent after this season, but would possibly re-sign. With his speed and net presence, he is likely a better fit on the third line than the two Oilers mentioned. A possible price would be a third and a prospect, but that would likely be based on the Rangers asking price as opposed to his worth.
This one seems less likely to be done, but does fill a position need. He has two years left and has put up 30 points thus far. With a hefty contract (5.1 mil per year) Chevy likely won’t make the deal, but you’d have to think that Winnipeg would be a list of teams he’d be willing to accept a trade to given the current situation of both the Jets and Sens. Current price would likely be a roster player (defenseman?) and a mid draft pick.
Ok, so this won’t happen and the tires shouldn’t even be kicked in my opinion. But it would be entertaining to say the least. Given how Sabres management has already stated they would like a roster player, a conditional pick, a draft pick, and a prospect, it seems like a price way too high for a guy who’s playing top line minutes putting up 36 points on a last place team. I would give Chevy “GM of the Decade” if we were to acquire Kane back for a bunch of low level prospects that wouldn’t make much of an impact in the NHL.
But hey, Kane back in a Jets jersey? You’d love it. You know it!
I would imagine Cheveldayoff has been on the phones since the Christmas break trying to work a deal to improve the club. With Scheifele and Lowry injured, I would venture a guess that a trade is made sooner rather than later, if for no other reason, but to lessen the pressure of the two Jets centermen when they return full time.
Now, that’s not to say that the current third line the Jets have isn’t better than the names selected above, however there likely is a slight improvement to be made by adding one or two pieces at the deadline despite the current crew having more of an upside.