The Ottawa Senators have traded defenseman Dylan DeMelo to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
Jets Desperately Needed a Defenseman
The Jets, competing with the Arizona Coyotes, Calgary Flames, and Nashville Predators for a Western Conference wild card spot, have finally addressed their need to add an experienced blue-liner.
DeMelo, 26, has played 259-career NHL games between the San Jose Sharks — who drafted him in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft — and the Senators, recording seven goals and 57 assists for 64 points.
This season, the right-handed London, Ontario product has recorded 10 assists and 31 penalty minutes in 59 games, has a plus-three rating, and has skated an average of 19:55, a career-high. His Corsi and Fenwick percentages are both well-above 50 per cent, impressive considering he plays for a team with a -44 goal differential.
DeMelo should help stabilize a Jets’ d-corp that’s been decimated and struggling all season long. They lost Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, and Ben Chiarot in the offseason but didn’t add anyone of note despite there being a desperate need. The back-end issues were compounded further by Dustin Byfuglien’s last-minute decision to take a leave of absence and by a number of injuries throughout the season. They’ve stayed in the playoff race despite their patchwork D comprised of waiver-wire pickups and fringe players, but give up way too many high-danger chances overall.
Most importantly for the Jets, they made the addition without doing something rash such as trading away their first-round pick.
DeMelo is in the final year of an economical two-year contract that pays him $900,000 annually. The Jets very well may opt to re-sign him this summer in addition to going after a d-man with term.
Senators Piling Up Picks
DeMelo didn’t fetch a lot for the Senators — just a third-rounder — but having a pile of picks is always good for a team in a rebuilding mode.
The Senators, at 20-28-11, have a good chance of winning the NHL Draft Lottery this June and also have the San Jose Sharks’ first-round pick, which they recieved as part of the 2018 trade that sent Erik Karlsson to the West Coast.
The Senators possess a whopping 14 picks now; in addition to their own, they have the Columbus Blue Jackets’ and Dallas Stars’ second-round selections, the Tampa Bay Lightning’s fifth-rounder, and the Sharks’ sixth-rounder.
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