The Winnipeg Jets have acquired center Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for winger Erik Foley, a conditional 2018 first-round pick and a conditional 2020 fourth-round pick, the team announced Monday.
In 63 games with the Blues this season, Stastny registered 12 goals and 40 points. He has played 12 seasons in the NHL, racking up 216 goals and 633 points in his 805-game career. Foley, a Jets prospect who was drafted 78th overall in 2015, plays for Providence College and has 15 goals and 34 points in 32 games this season.
Stastny’s Opportunity with Jets
Stastny has been with St. Louis for the last four seasons and has only played with St. Louis and Colorado over his career. He joins the Jets, who are currently in a fight for the top spot in the Central Division. He will likely add to the team’s center depth, which features Mark Scheifele and Bryan Little.
As the Jets gear up for a deep playoff run as one of the Western Conference’s top teams this season, they will likely utilize their depth down the middle to get scoring from all four lines.
According to Pierre LeBrun, Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff wanted to sign Paul Stastny when he was a free agent in the 2014 offseason, but he signed with the Blues instead.
Stastny is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, but could very well re-sign in Winnipeg. His current contract pays him $3.5 million this season, and given another 40+ point season, he will likely earn a similar contract with potentially a higher salary.
Blues Securing Future Prospects
Foley is a player that has a knack for scoring and can play with grit, and he isn’t afraid to crash the net. His player forecaster from The Hockey News highlights his skill set and shows that he can thrive as an asset at the NHL level:
“Plays much bigger than his size. Has agitating qualities that will sesrve him well in the pro ranks. Skates very well and has a nose for the net. Plays a power game and can usually be found around the net.”
The 6-foot, 185-pound winger produces at 1.06 points per game at the NCAA level and leads all Providence skaters in scoring. Providence currently holds the third place spot in the Hockey East Division.
The 20-year-old was one of Winnipeg’s highly anticipated prospects. He is a tough forward who can throw his weight around and play with physicality. He will likely give the Blues more organizational depth.
With the trade, St. Louis now has a coveted winger and a couple of solid draft picks, but there are a few conditions in regards to them getting the draft pick.
According to The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford, if Winnipeg’s has a top-three pick in the draft this season, the Blues will get the first-round pick in 2019. However, considering the Jets’ season, the Blues will get that pick this year. Also, if St. Louis doesn’t re-sign Foley before August 16, 2019, then they will get the 2020 fourth-rounder. The Blues are fifth place in the Central, and they sit one point out of playoff position.
Without Stastny, the Blues still have strong center depth, but certainly lost one of their top scorers in Stastny. The 32-year-old was the Blues’ fourth-leading point scorer.