As we’ve noted in the last few weeks, it would wise of Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to work on gaining a few extra draft picks in the upcoming draft and Monday evening he started to work on that very task as the Jets announced a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers in which they’ve agreed to send forward Kevin Hayes to the Flyers in exchange for a fifth round pick in the upcoming 2019 NHL Draft.
The Jets now have four draft picks upcoming, a second round pick, a fourth round pick and two fifth round picks.
It was an obvious move for the Jets to make as it was pretty clear almost from the onset when the team traded for Hayes at the deadline, that they would have a very hard time re-signing him when he became an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The deal was strictly a move made to help bolster the team for a late season push and playoff run that of course ended in rather disappointing fashion.
Hayes for his part was a decent enough performer in his brief time with the Jets. In 20 regular season games he picked up five goals and seven assists with Winnipeg. He also added two goals and one assist in the six Jets playoff games. While some fans saw his time as a bit of a let down compared to that of the Jets previous deadline acquisition Paul Stastny, Hayes numbers were actually pretty comparable.
If things with the salary cap situation would have been different, it would have been interesting to see what the Jets could have done with a full season of Hayes as the second line center.
The trade gives the Philadelphia Flyers an exclusive window until June 24 to sign Hayes, after which time all other clubs can begin to negotiate with the 27 year old, five year NHL veteran.
The NHL Draft is June 21 and we’ll see if Cheveldayoff has any more deals up his sleeve to help the Jets gain some more picks