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Jets looking at centre, depth defence ahead of trade deadline


The NHL-leading Winnipeg Jets are believed to be looking for centre help and an depth on the blueline as the trade deadline creeps closer on March 8.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger notes the Jets are looking for "an affordable fit" as the team looks to boost its lineup.

"It’s hard to critique a team that is hovering near the top of the National Hockey League, but every club has that wish list. So, if you’re Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Winnipeg Jets, you’re perhaps looking at adding a centreman," Dreger said Tuesday on Insider Trading. "Now, the centre market hasn’t fully been exposed yet, and it’ll likely creep closer to the trade deadline, but if there is a fit, and if there is an affordable fit, then yes, they would look to be doing something along those lines. They would also like to add a depth defenceman. Every contending team wants that.

"But in the meantime, they’ve got Kyle Connor back and they’re looking forward to seeing the chemistry develop between Kyle Connor and Gabe Vilardi."

Just two centres were listed on the updated TSN Trade Bait board last week in Sean Monahan of the Montreal Canadiens, who was listed at No. 3, and Anaheim Ducks veteran Adam Henrique, who checked in at No. 19. Both players are pending unrestricted free agents, with Monahan carrying a cap hit of $1.985 million and Henrique signed at $5.825 million.

The Jets bounced back Tuesday with a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders, three days after the Philadelphia Flyers ended Winnipeg's 14-game point streak. Connor, who had been sidelined since Dec. 10, scored a goal in his return against the Islanders while logging 19:03 of ice time. 

Winnipeg is on track to reach the playoffs for the sixth time in the past seven seasons and will look to advance past the second round for the first time since 2018 this year.

The Jets are expected to have $5.4 million in deadline cap space, per CapFriendly.