The Winnipeg Jets traded veteran forward, Drew Stafford, to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. The conditions, clarified by ESPN’s Craig Custance, are that if Stafford plays a certain percentage of regular season and playoff games the sixth-round pick could become a fifth or even fourth round pick for the Jets.
Jets trade Drew Stafford to the Boston Bruins for a conditional 6th
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 1, 2017
The trade was announced shortly after the 3:00 p.m. EST league deadline (announced at 3:30 p.m.) as the move just had to be processed by the NHL. Stafford is a good bottom-six forward acquisition for the Bruins who are looking to compete for one of the final playoff spots in the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference. They currently sit third in the division.
For the Bruins, their bottom six include players like Frank Vatrano, Tim Schaller and Riley Nash. The addition of Stafford gives them a little more veteran presence deep on their depth chart and should help younger players like those mentioned above as well as Peter Cehlarik.
Not Your Average Power Forward
Likely a fourth line player now late into his career, Stafford hasn’t always been your prototypical bottom six forward. For years, he found some success in Buffalo where he played parts of nine seasons. He collected 145 goals and 322 points in 563 games with the Sabres during regular season play before joining the Winnipeg Jets during the 2014-15 season.
With the Jets, he didn’t see nearly as much ice time and it showed. However, he was still able to rack up 34 goals and 70 points in 144 games with the Jets over parts of three seasons. While he won’t bring a lot of offensive prowess to the Bruins, he shouldn’t be underestimated either. He averages 0.55 points per game over his career and brings a little playoff experience to a team gearing up for a postseason run.
Stafford will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and carries a cap hit of $4.35 million. Stafford was originally drafted in the first round, 13th overall by the Sabres back in 2004.
The conditions of the sixth-round pick are awaiting announcement.
Make sure to follow all of the NHL Trade Deadline action with our THW Deadline Deal Tracker.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.