Writer’s Twitter: @ChrisMottHockey
Trade Series Articles
The New Jersey Devils will look to add talent to the roster, and while a great way to do so is through the draft, there are certainly players general manager Ray Shero could try to trade for. Continuing our Trade Series, we look at the Winnipeg Jets, a team that has very tough offseason coming up, with regards to having to sign multiple key players to new contracts while also trying to bring someone in to help the offense. Some keys to keep in mind is the Devils preparing for their own future cap issues as well as bringing talent to help make the team a perennial contender, not just a team that is strong for one year.
Defenseman Jacob Trouba has been swirling around the rumor mill ever since Winnipeg was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs this season. Trouba is going to be a restricted free agent this summer, but the disconnect between him and the Jets front office has been anything but discrete over the past couple of
As I mentioned before, Winnipeg has a cap situation looming over them where players are going to need new contracts, including Patrik Laine. With this factoring in, there has been some speculation that Winnipeg would be interested in moving Trouba if the opportunity was worth their while, and I think this is an opportunity that Shero should explore. Acquiring Trouba means Shero would have to be able to work out a contract with him once he’s acquired. And I would hope that if Ray pulled off a deal for Trouba, it would not include more than a third-round pick and a young player in the minors. Trouba would be a solid pick up for the back end, but the fact many scouts from different teams believe this to be a deep draft makes me prefer the Devils hold onto their second and third round picks this year rather than move them in trades.
Michael Spacek is a young center in Winnipeg’s system that has seemed to show some decent play in the minors thus far. In 2017-18, he had 17 goals and 21 assists in 70 games followed up by a 2018-19 campaign which saw him post 10 goals and 31 assists in 74 games played. Spacek was drafted in the fourth round, 108th overall in the 2015 draft and is a player I could see Shero going after for depth in the system. I do not believe the cost for him would be very much as Winnipeg has a lot of other pieces they are focusing on to achieve success. I think Shero could easily make a one-for-one swap
Marko Dano is a former late first-round pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2013 Entry Draft. Dano has bounced around from team to team, and he very much falls into the category of players for me that is a low-risk, high reward player. He has the ability to play both wings and the center position. He has played for Columbus, Chicago, Colorado, and Winnipeg so far in his career as well as playing for Slovakia twice in the World Championships. His most recent season in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose saw him score 12 goals and 18 assists in 51 games.
I think that if Shero could land Dano without giving up too much in return due to the uncertainty of him, it could benefit the Devils much like Spacek would. He could serve as depth in the system or develop into a solid contributing player at the NHL level. We hear the saying that a player “needs a change of scenery,” but with Dano, being traded so early in his career could have possibly messed with his development. He has been with Winnipeg for a couple seasons now, and I think if Shero could see him being here long term that he should try and acquire him.
I feel the Jets may be a hard team to trade with this off-season just because they have so many question marks with their own players. There is obviously room for improvement in Winnipeg, but I believe the assets they already have for now will be their main focus for much of this offseason. Shero is not in a position to wait around on teams when it comes to making moves this summer as he needs to work on assuring Taylor Hall that the future is bright in New Jersey. And that the Devils will be perennial contenders especially with him every year.