Coming into the NHL Trade Deadline, everyone knew the Winnipeg Jets would be making a move. Initially, the Jets had interest in Mark Stone from the Ottawa Senators. However, the price was too steep. Instead, the Jets make a trade with the New York Rangers by acquiring Kevin Hayes.
NHL Trade Alert: Winnipeg Acquires Kevin Hayes
As part of the deal the Rangers will receive a conditional fourth round pick if the Jets win the Stanley Cup. Otherwise there is no extra pick.
Just like last year, the Winnipeg Jets needed help at the center position especially on the second line. Last year, the Jets got Paul Statsny from St. Louis. This year it was Kevin Hayes. Hayes is a big body that will fill the necessary void that has been lacking ever since Stastny left.
Currently, Hayes is slotted into the center line center role where he will be flanked by Nikolaj Ehlers and Kyle Connor. Regardless of where Hayes plays he will have two great wingers on each side of him. Bryan Little will now be the third line center for the Jets.
“I’m going to play with some good wingers who can score some goals,” Hayes speaking to TSN. “I’m a pass-first type player and I’m excited to play with some goal scorers.”
Hayes has registered 216 points (87 goals, 129 assists) in 361 career NHL games. He’s added two goals and eight assists in 34 career playoff games.
For the Rangers, Brendan Lemieux has recorded nine goals and two assists in 44 games this season for Winnipeg. Lemieux is still a young player who has grit and bite in his game just like his father Claude.
The Jets are hoping they can cash in on a similar result with Hayes considering the team went to the Western Conference Final last year.
This was not the only trade the Jets made during the day. Winnipeg made some depth moves especially on defense by acquiring players Nathan Beaulieu and Bogdan Kiselevich. Considering Josh Morrissey Dustin Byfuglien, and Joe Morrow all injured, these moves needed to made. Along with those moves the Jets added forwards Matt Hendricks and Par Lindholm.
The Jets are making another run at winning the Stanley Cup this year. And if Patrik Laine continues to score and get back on track, that will be the best pick up the Jets could get at the trade deadline.