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3 possible trade destinations for Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers this summer

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Photo credit:© Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Connor Baldwin
1 month ago
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Nikolaj Ehlers might just be officially on the trade block. This news is no longer a secret after various reports online appear to hint at the Jets looking to trade Ehlers before the 2024 NHL draft. I’m someone who would still like the Jets to find a way to keep Ehlers if possible, but I’m beginning to understand that it might make more sense for the Jets to make a deal this summer. I’ve already started seeing plenty of fans from other teams saying how thrilled they would be if their team acquired Ehlers. I thought about trying my go at some Nikolaj Ehlers mock trades, but I figured it would be best to stick to something a little more in my toolbox, which is possible trade destinations. If you need a refresher on Ehlers’ stats while with the Jets, check out his Hockey DB page.
I took to Jets Nation Instagram / X to poll Jets fans on which of the 3 teams I will be talking about as possible destinations for Ehlers could bring back the best return (results are currently pending). Those 3 teams, which I will go each into a little detail coming up here are: the Ottawa Senators, the Carolina Hurricanes, and the Buffalo Sabres. There’s probably going to be a lot of teams that pick up the phone to try to acquire Ehlers if he really is available, but these are 3 somewhat realistic options of teams that could make a deal that would make sense both for themselves and for the Jets. I’ll be focusing not just on which team could provide the best return, but I’ll also look at the overall picture of why it might make sense for the Jets to acquire what they’ll need to make a trade work for both sides.
Ottawa Senators
The Senators had themselves another disappointing year to put it lightly. They’re a team that’s trying to get out of the rebuilding phase and push for a playoff spot. Some of the pieces on their current roster have been great, while others haven’t really worked out the best. One player that the Jets could be interested in from the Senators in a trade for Ehlers could be Jakob Chychrun. He’s a 26-year old left-handed defence who will be a free agent in 2025. With the Senators already locked in with 2 other great left-handed defence in Thomas Chabot and Jake Sanderson, plus the Jets likely losing a key left-handed defence in Brenden Dillon, the move could very well work for both teams. The Senators prospect pool isn’t as deep as it was before, but they still have some options if the Jets want to go for a trade to acquire a near-ready prospect and draft picks for Ehlers. Overall, the Senators could be a pretty flexible suitor to work with on an Ehlers trade.
Carolina Hurricanes
Ah, the Hurricanes, a team that just got eliminated last night in game 6 of their close 2nd round matchup against the New York Rangers. The Hurricanes are still very much going to be contenders next season no doubt, but some moves will have to be made with their current roster. Rumours broke today that the Hurricanes will likely let Martin Necas and Brett Pesce go to free agency in order to try to sign Jake Guentzel. The Hurricanes have a sneaky good prospect pool for a contending team, and would certainly have a few prospects that could intrigue the Jets. The Hurricanes also have some proven unrestricted free agents that could also be dealt in a sign-and-trade type of deal. The Hurricanes are a bit more crunched for salary cap than a team like the Ottawa Senators are at the moment, so the Jets would need to make sure a potential Ehlers deal with the Hurricanes makes sense money wise for both sides. Overall, the Hurricanes have both some ready and soon to be ready options that could provide a good return in exchange for Ehlers.
Buffalo Sabres
Last but not least, the Buffalo Sabres, who are in a somewhat similar situation as the Senators are in terms of trying to push for a playoff spot. The Sabres came up short again this season and hold the longest active playoff drought in the NHL. That being said, they have probably one of the most exciting groups of young players in the NHL, the list just seems to go on and on for them. The Sabres already have most of their young talent locked up for many years to come, but they have still have a few very solid options that could make sense in a Ehlers trade. I didn’t name anyone in particular for the Hurricanes because they’re going to have a lot of unknowns this off-season, but one player that could fit the Jets team if the Sabres don’t re-sign him is young defenceman Bowen Byram. It might be tough to acquire Byram, but he’s just one option that the Jets could potentially look to acquire for Ehlers. The Sabres, despite already being loaded with young talent on their roster, still have a very solid prospect pool of players that could be impactful players in the NHL. While the Jets will likely go for a trade option with Ehlers that helps their team now, if they go for the prospects and picks route it could work out better with a team like the Sabres. Overall, the Sabres have plenty of young talent that the Jets could be interested in acquiring for Ehlers that could help their team next season.
Which of these 3 teams do you think would be the best fit to make a trade with for Nikolaj Ehlers? Getting the best return is surely the top priority, and the Jets will want to make sure that a potential deal works for them both now and in the future if a key player such as Ehlers is dealt. It’ll be an interesting month or so ahead to see if Ehlers is dealt before the draft, and if not he’ll either potentially be moved in the off-season or prior to next season’s NHL trade deadline.

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