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Sports Trade-deadline primer: Winnipeg Jets

05:20  12 april  2021
05:20  12 april  2021 Source:   prohockeyrumors.com

Maple Leafs down Jets 3-1 to extend lead in North Division to three points

  Maple Leafs down Jets 3-1 to extend lead in North Division to three points WINNIPEG — The Maple Leafs got the start they wanted. The Winnipeg Jets, back home after a seven-game road trip, didn't. Auston Matthews scored his league-leading 24th goal and goaltender Jack Campbell improved his season record to 7-0-0 as Toronto downed Winnipeg 3-1 Wednesday to extend its lead atop the North Division over the Jets to three points. The Leafs held an early 13-2 lead in shots and were up 2-0 before the game was 11 minutes old. "I don't know what the numbers are but I'd imagine if you go up 2-0 in a game you're going to win most of the time.

The 2021 NHL Trade Deadline is just hours away so it’s time to wrap up our look around the league with the Winnipeg Jets and where they stand and should be trying to do.

a hockey game in the snow © Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets came into this season as a bit of a wild card team. Connor Hellebuyck gives them high-level goaltending while they bolstered one of the better top-six forward groups in the league.  There were questions surrounding the rest of the team but they’ve answered them nicely so far and are battling for home ice in the first round with a shot still at tracking down Toronto for first in the North.  With that in mind, Kevin Cheveldayoff should be looking to try to add over the next few hours.

Jets' Nathan Beaulieu out for season following shoulder surgery

  Jets' Nathan Beaulieu out for season following shoulder surgery Beaulieu was playing with the injury this season but hadn’t suited up since exiting a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in early March. In all, his year will end with 25 games played and just a single assist. Fortunately for the 28-year-old defenseman, his contract extends through next season so he won’t have to try and find work coming off a major injury. Though obviously losing Beaulieu isn’t ideal, being able to move his contract—which carries a $1.25M cap hit—to long-term injured reserve does give the Jets a little more flexibility at the upcoming trade deadline.

Record

25-13-3, 2nd in West Division

Deadline Status

Buyer

Deadline Cap Space

$0 in regular cap space, $2.43M in LTIR room, 1/3 retention slots used, 44/50 contracts used per CapFriendly.

Upcoming Draft Picks

2021: WPG 1st, WPG 2nd, WPG 3rd, WPG 5th, WPG 6th

2022: WPG 1st, WPG 2nd, CBJ 3rd, WPG 3rd, WPG 5th, WPG 6th, WPG 7th

Trade Chips

Cheap defensemen are always in high demand at the trade deadline and Winnipeg has one of those in Sami Niku.  For years now, he has been on the cusp of making it as a regular but has yet to do and has dropped a couple of spots on the depth chart with Logan Stanley holding his own and Ville Heinola waiting in the wings.  He’s someone that they can easily hold on to for expansion purposes as he is already signed for next season at just a $725K cap hit but at 24, there are likely rebuilding teams that would like to get a closer look at him.  Instead of flipping a mid-round pick for a rental, Niku could be substituted, a move that would also give Winnipeg a little more cap flexibility.

Dubois, Winnipeg Jets outlast pushy Ottawa Senators for 4-3 victory

  Dubois, Winnipeg Jets outlast pushy Ottawa Senators for 4-3 victory Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice knows the Ottawa Senators aren't highly regarded around the NHL. The Senators linger in the basement of the North Division, but the young squad has wreaked havoc on several Canadian counterparts this season. So it didn't surprise Maurice when the Sens made a late push against the Jets on Monday. “I’ve got way, way more respect for Ottawa than I think most people do. And I think that might be why we’re 5-1 on them," the veteran bench boss said after the Jets eked out a 4-3 win. Winnipeg held a 4-1 lead heading into the final frame Monday but Ottawa refused to go quietly.

Kristian Vesalainen is a name that many are familiar with going back to his days in the SHL before he was drafted.  However, the offensive potential that was believed to be there hasn’t really materialized since Winnipeg picked him 24th overall back in 2017.  In his limited NHL action this season, he has been limited to duty on the fourth line and that’s not a great fit for his particular style of play.  The Jets would certainly be selling low but his value is likely only going to continue to dip the further he gets into his entry-level deal which has another year left on it.  If there’s a team that still really believes in Vesalainen’s upside, this may be the right time to move him.

Mathieu Perreault’s name has come up many times over the years as a speculative trade or even buyout candidate but now as an expiring contract, this is his last chance to be moved and this may be his likeliest chance of moving compared to those other times.  If Cheveldayoff wants to go after a higher-priced player, Perreault’s $4.125M AAV could quite plausibly be thrown into the deal as a salary offset over asking a team to retain, especially with some of the sellers likely to use their three allowable retention slots.  He’s a versatile player that certainly has a role on the roster but if they need to take away a sizable contract to add another one, Perreault is the obvious candidate to be thrown in.

Jets at Canadiens: Five things you should know

  Jets at Canadiens: Five things you should know Here are five things you should know about the Jets-Canadiens game Thursday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN Radio-690, 98.5 FM). The matchup: This is the third of four games this week for the Canadiens, who are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Maple Leafs Wednesday night in Toronto. It’s also the first of two contests against Winnipeg within 72 hours; the teams are meeting in Montreal again Saturday night. The Jets have been idle since Monday, when they defeated Ottawa 4-3 at home, following two home-ice losses against the Leafs — one in a shootout. This is the seventh of nine meetings between the Canadiens and Jets. The remaining three games are all in Montreal.

Others to Watch For: F David Gustafsson ($817.5K through 2021-22), F Skyler McKenzie ($742K, RFA)

Team Needs

1) Top-Four Defenseman: One team that was almost certainly disappointed by David Savard heading to Tampa Bay was Winnipeg as they’ve had a need for a blueliner that can log 20 minutes or more pretty much all season.  Actually, you could go back to last year for that particular need.  There aren’t many other rentals that could fit that bill – New Jersey’s Ryan Murray may be one of the exceptions – but Cheveldayoff needs to find a way to get one despite the limited LTIR room he has to work with.

2) Upgrade Fourth Line Depth – Winnipeg has not used their fourth line much this season with Perreault being the only one averaging more than ten minutes a night.  There isn’t anything wrong with targeting defensive specialists to help in those situations but adding a piece or two that Paul Maurice would be comfortable using for more than nine minutes a game would help keep their top players a bit more rested down the stretch and give them some extra insurance in case more injuries arise.

Shooting suspect Phillip Adams played college football at South Carolina State

  Shooting suspect Phillip Adams played college football at South Carolina State Adams played in 42 games during his four-year career for the Bulldogs and was part of the back-to-back MEAC titles the team won in 2008 and 2009. From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. Adams had a total of five touchdowns, nine interceptions and 108 tackles in his time as a defensive back and punt returner. In his junior season, he led the conference with five interceptions. In his final year with South Carolina State, he was a first-team All-MEAC pick and played in the 2009 HBCU Bowl before he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2010 NFL Draft.

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