Category Archives: Wpg. Jets

Predicting Protected Lists: Winnipeg Jets 

The Winnipeg Jets are in a fairly good spot in regards to the expansion draft. They are only slated to lose a depth player or (spoiler) an injury-ridden Tyler Myers to Vegas. 

Up front, the Jets will absolutely be protecting Mark Scheifele, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, and Mathieu Perreault. 

After that, a trio of middle-six, younger players are expected to be protected. They are Adam Lowry, Marko Dano, and Joel Armia. 

That is all there is for forwards. The most likely to be taken by Vegas out of the exposed forwards are Andrew Copp and Scott Komaschuk. Although valuable pieces, losing either of these players would not be crushing to the Jets. 

On defense, the Jets have two players with no-movement clauses in Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom. The Jets are not expected to ask either to waive. 

The choice then becomes between Jacob Trouba and Tyler Myers. Myers, as previously mentioned, has struggled with injuries in the past few years and also has been the inferior player to Trouba. So, choosing Trouba to protect is easy.

The Jets gave up a lot in the Tyler Myers-Evander Kane deal a few years ago, but if Vegas decides to take Myers, it is not the end of the world. The defenseman they sent to Buffalo in that deal, Zach Bogosian, is struggling more than Myers is. 

In goal, Connor Hellebuyck is currently projected to be protected. However, the Jets could acquire a goalie, such as Marc-Andre Fleury or Antti Raanta, to protect instead. 

The Winnipeg Jets protected list could look like this in the end: 

Forwards: Mark Scheifele, Bryan Little, Blake Wheeler, Mathieu Perreault, Adam Lowry, Marko Dano, Joel Armia

Defense: Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom, Jacob Trouba

Goalie: Connor Hellebuyck OR acquired player

——

Thank you all for following along with the “Predicting Protected Lists” series. It will be interesting to see how close this is to the actual protected list submitted by the teams. All previous teams can be found on the site. A link to a “moment” on Twitter with all the articles will also be posted. 

Stay tuned for more articles in the next week. 

Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Eight teams that should protect four defensemen in the expansion draft 

In next summer’s expansion draft, teams have two options in which to protect their players. One is protecting seven forwards, three defensemen, and one goalie. The other choice is protecting eight skaters and one goalie. The former gives you more players to protect but you risk losing a top-four defenseman, whereas the latter allows you to hold onto that fourth (or fifth, if you so please) defenseman, but you are losing out on protecting two top-six forwards. It is a calculated risk that teams have to weigh, and there are eight teams that should choose to take the second option and protect four defensemen.  Read the rest of this entry

Toronto wins lottery, Jets move up to No. 2 

The annual NHL draft lottery was held on Saturday night and for the first time in six years the team that finished last in the league won the lottery. That team was the Toronto Maple Leafs, who will have the chance to choose either Auston Matthews or Patrik Laine with the pick. 

There will be internal debate, but Auston Matthews is Toronto’s man. The center, currently playing in the Swiss league, will be ready to jump straight into the NHL in sheltered minutes behind Nazem Kadri (at least to start). 

Interest will be there from teams to move up, especially Arizona, but I do not foresee it happening. The Maple Leafs endured a tough season and waited a long time for this to happen, and to relinquish the ability to make the first overall selection would come at a high price. 

In other news and notes, the Winnipeg Jets moved up from #6 to #2. They’ll likely get the chance to take Patrik Laine, the Finnish winger that has drawn comparisons to Alex Ovechkin. 

I think there was a shot that someone like Buffalo or Calgary would have taken Laine first overall, but I don’t think it’ll happen now. 

Most of the teams remained in the spots they were originally at. 

Edmonton is picking at #4 and Jacob Chychrun or Matthew Tkachuk would be nice fits. 

Montreal got the #9 pick and will have a number of options to look at. Can things shake out so that Alex Nylander falls down to them? Entirely possible. 

New Jersey is at #10. Clayton Keller would be good for them. 

The months leading up to the draft will be full of preparation for the fourteen teams involved in the draft lottery plus many more as they are eliminated from the playoffs. The top three players in this year’s draft makes it an exciting one. With things like the salary cap and the expansion draft in play, there’s a lot to look forward to in terms of player movement come June. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Ladd deal to Chicago has potential to work out for both clubs 

The next big domino of the NHL trading season fell on Thursday night, when the Winnipeg Jets traded captain Andrew Ladd to Chicago for Marko Dano and a first round pick. Other assets were involved, like Jay Harrison and a conditional pick, but the latter was the lump of the deal. 

This will be Ladd’s second stint with Chicago, the city where he won a Stanley Cup in 2010. Ladd was a victim of the first of three large cap crunches Chicago has gone through. 

Both teams make out well on this trade, that is if Chicago wins the Cup again. The Blackhawks brought in Ladd to play along side Jonathan Toews, a spot formerly occupied by a number of players including Ryan Garbutt for a short period of time. 

The package coming back to Winnipeg sets them up quite nicely as well. Marko Dano, although bouncing around a lot from team to team, is a solid player with the potential to be a top-six forward. The Jets also add another first round pick, likely in the 24 to 30 range. The Jets are loaded up front for the future with the likes of Scheifele, Connor, Dano, Lemieux, Petan, Ehlers, Roslovic, and Armia. 

This deal sets up the market for the upcoming days. Beside Loui Eriksson, and maybe Mikkel Boedker depending how desperate teams are, Ladd was probably the priciest option out there. Actually, as the trade rumors came through, I was writing something up saying that teams that lose out on Ladd could potentially go after the similar but cheaper option in Jamie McGinn from Buffalo. Florida and Pittsburgh could be on that. 

We will likely see more trades come through before the deadline, which does take some of the excitement out of Monday, but it’s fun to see trades regardless. 

Other updates: 

-Like the Jets, other teams up north are gathering offers for some of their players before deadline day. Edmonton has been aggressively shopping Justin Schultz. Don’t be surprised if that gets done within 24 hours. Montreal has looked at options for Weise but nothing yet, that’ll probably wait for Monday. 

-A Loui Eriksson trade will likely have to wait until Monday at around 3 o’clock to come in. Boston doesn’t mind holding onto him either. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Byfuglien’s new deal opens up trade market

The stalemate for NHL trades is seemingly coming to an end. Dustin Byfuglien’s new deal with the Winnipeg Jets signals the start of what appears to be an active and exciting trading period. 

Many teams were holding back from making a move while waiting to see what Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff would do with impending unrestricted free agents Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd. The former was solved on Monday, with Byfuglien inking a new five year, 7.6 million per deal. This in all likelihood means that Andrew Ladd will be traded and gives the teams around the league a clearer outlook on what is going to happen on the trade front. 

The second ripple came just a day after of the Byfuglien signing, with Dion Phaneuf being dealt to Ottawa in a monstrous nine-player deal. Salary, prospects, and picks were exchanged, leaving most fans shocked. 

A few hours later, it was reported by Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports that Justin Schultz of the Edmonton Oilers was going to be a heathy scratch tonight possibly due to a trade. Schultz has been awful, for lack of a better term, this year but has the potential to thrive in the right situation. Buffalo and San Jose could be two teams in on him (among others). 

With Byfuglien off the market, Roman Polak’s and Dan Hamhuis’ value have increased. A weak defensive pool both trade wise and free agent wise could leave the Leafs and Canucks in a good position if they choose to move said players. The Kings have been long rumored to be going after a tough defenseman and were linked to Byfuglien, so Polak would make sense. Colorado and Washington would also be fits. 

Kevin Shattenkirk and Keith Yandle have both been asked about but it is doubtful either move. 

The defensive market has definitely opened up and the forward group shouldn’t be too far behind. I would expect an active trade deadline, which is now less than three weeks away. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Jets have personnel decisions to make on defense 

There have been a lot of trade rumors swirling around the Winnipeg Jets organization this season, mostly involving defenseman Dustin Byfuglien and forward Andrew Ladd. It was initially believed that they would try to keep Ladd and trade Byfuglien, but things have seemed to switch over the past few weeks. 

The Jets are a bottom-ten team in the NHL this year and are poised to be sellers at the deadline. As next season rolls around, their defense could look a lot different. 

For one, Tobias Enstrom has reportedly been shopped around recently. Enstrom, 31, has seen a steady decline in his point totals every year since the 2009-2010 season with the Atlanta Thrashers. He is on pace for under 20 points this year. 

Enstrom isn’t exactly the tastiest of pieces that is on the market. His lack of production coupled with being on the books for two more years after this one at 5.75 million per makes him difficult to trade without the Jets eating a significant amount of his contract. 

The other name the Jets have to figure out what to do with is Jacob Trouba. The ninth overall pick in 2012, Trouba is set for a big pay increase, as he is a restricted free agent this year. The Jets certainly do not want to trade him but they may be backed into a corner if they re-sign Byfuglien long term at 7 million per or more. 

Gary Lawless, @garylawless, of The Hockey News suggests that if Byfuglien is re-signed for this price, a Hamonic for Trouba deal may make sense due to Hamonic’s lower cap hit. 

Tyler Myers has been thrown out in discussions, mostly for Travis Hamonic, but a move involving him is highly unlikely.

The Jets defense could look like a number of combinations next year, with the likes of Byfuglien, Myers, Trouba, Enstrom, Hamonic, Stuart, Postma, Chiarot, and Morrissey all in the running. 

Kevin Cheveldayoff has less than 30 days to decide his course of action heading into the offseason which will decide the fate of his hockey club for the 2016-2017 season. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Trade Winds: one more month until the NHL trade deadline 

The trade deadline is rapidly approaching and is now about one month away. Teams are beginning to see whether or not they want to sell their players at the deadline meaning the speculation will continue to increase. 

The Buffalo Sabres are still shopping Tyler Ennis but to no avail yet. He has been disappointing this year and with a crowded top-six of young players in Buffalo, he may not have a spot. Due to his high salary, some will have to be retained. Jamie McGinn is also being looked at around the league, but Buffalo likes him. Could he pull a Matt Moulson and sign back with Buffalo in the summer after being traded? We’ll see. 

The Canucks have been looking around the league for potential suitors for Radim Vrbata and Dan Hamhuis. The latter has had injury problems this year, however Vrbata would be a nice pickup for a team in the playoff hunt. Someone like Florida, Nashville, or one of the New York teams could have interest in the forward. 

The Coyotes are very reluctant to move Mikkel Boedker although nothing is impossible. The Danish left winger is due for a big pay increase from his current 3.75 million.

You wonder what the deal is with Yevgeni Medvedev and the Flyers is. He is a good defenseman and would be great for a playoff run for any team but the Flyers are still in the thick of the playoff race themselves. The Flyers also have an influx of young defensemen coming up through the system which could make Medvedev expendable. 

Keith Yandle continues to be shopped but nothing as of yet. It might be in best interest for the Rangers, given their closing window, to get this playoff run out of him. 

Columbus is expected to be very aggressive at the trade deadline. Although they have no big unrestricted free agents, certain names could be moved out such as Kerby Rychel. The David Clarkson contract has been thrown out there but to no takers. 

The Islanders seem to be at a gridlock with Travis Hamonic and Kyle Okposo. Hamonic’s trade won’t come until the offseason and the Islanders don’t want to give up Okposo for futures so they may end up keeping him and risk losing him to free agency. 

The Jets have equally looked around for Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien. Nothing is out of the question for the deadline for either player. Ladd is the more feasible option for the team, however. 

Don’t be surprised if the Anaheim Ducks make another move prior to February 29th. Likely a defense for offense move. 

More to come as the trade deadline draws nearer. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Trade Winds: Defensive Addition 

It’s hard to find a solid, NHL defenseman on the trade market before the deadline, let alone this early in the year. However, some options are there. Teams like the Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Carolina Hurricanes are looking for help on the blueline amongst others. None of the names available are flashy, but they can get the job done for any team desperate for help. 

The “biggest” name on the market as of today is Dennis Wideman. The 32 year old can still put up points with 56 last season and 6 assists in 12 games this season, but his contract is scaring other teams off. His teammate Kris Russell has also been linked to trade talks. Russell lead the league in blocked shots last year and is on good pace to do so this year again. Whether that’s indicative to Calgary’s play or Russell’s individual play, nobody will know unless a trade happens. 

Bob McKenzie also reported the other day that the services of Luke Schenn, Roman Polak, and Matt Carle are available for the right price. Schenn and Polak could be moved later in the year, but Carle is an interesting name. He’s been brutal this year for the Lightning but they are still a win-now team so the price could fluctuate for a guy like him. It’ll be interesting to see how his storyline progresses over the year. Carle has two season left on his contract after this year at 5.5 million per, which will significantly decrease his value if he doesn’t pick up his game. 

The Jets also have an abundance of defensemen. Dustin Byfuglien won’t be traded until later this year, but players such as Paul Potsma and Grant Clitsome (although he is currently hurt) may be in play. Clitsome is entering into the final year of his deal and Potsma has one year remaining after this season at a reasonable price. Neither player has seen any in game action this year which could scare some teams off. If it comes down to it, the risk would be worth taking because they don’t have the contractual issues some other options do. 

As the season progresses, we’ll get a clearer look at the standings to see who needs help and who doesn’t. Although it might not be for a defenseman, also keep an eye out for Anaheim and Ottawa to be exploring on the trade market soon. 

-Kevin, @TheNHLFiles

Five Bold Predictions for the 2015-2016 NHL Season

The NHL season starts tonight, and each year something happens that makes all of us scratch our heads. Whether it’s a trade, firing, or odd standings movement, the league will look different than it did last year, just as last year looked different than two years ago. Some of the items on this list are much bolder than others – but here are five predictions for the upcoming hockey season.  Read the rest of this entry

Frolik Generating Tons of Interest

Among forwards, Michael Frolik from the Winnipeg Jets has been garnering some of the most interest heading into the free agency period. 
The 27 year old forward is about to enter his 8th NHL season after being drafted 10th overall by Florida in 2006. It is believed that Frolik and his agent met with over 10 teams down in Florida over draft day weekend. He is seeking a deal up to five seasons long and will likely get in the 5 to 6 million range. 
Read the rest of this entry

Big Day: Winnik, Sekera, and Tlusty All Traded

Less than a week before the trade deadline, some pieces up for sale found their new and temporary homes. Wednesday afternoon, all in a matter of three hours of each other, Daniel Winnik, Andrej Sekera, and Jiri Tlusty were all traded. Tlusty heads out of Carolina and will joins the Jets, while Andrej Sekera also leaves Carolina and goes to Los Angeles. Daniel Winnik, one of Toronto’s bright spots this year, was traded to Pittsburgh.
Read the rest of this entry

Buffalo Acquires Evander Kane in 7-Player Blockbuster

Evander Kane’s end in Winnipeg was not an “if” anymore, it was a “when”. The way it happened, however, was not as many had expected. With numerous teams competing for his services for next season, including Washington, Vancouver, and Philadelphia, the Buffalo Sabres came to the forefront late Wednesday morning and acquired not only Kane, but his teammates Zach Bogosian in a deal. The blockbuster trade involved a first round pick from Buffalo, as well as seven players, all of whom were drafted by the teams that traded them today.
Read the rest of this entry