The Winnipeg Jets acquired defenceman Dylan DeMelo from the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
DeMelo has 10 assists and 31 penalty minutes in 49 games for the Senators this season.
The 26-year-old native of London, Ont., has 64 points in 259 career NHL regular-season games with Ottawa and the San Jose Sharks.
In a conference call with media Tuesday, DeMelo said the potential for being traded was on his mind leading up to the league’s trade deadline.
“We didn’t really have much going in regards to contract talks, and when you’re getting close to a week out, kinda the writing’s on the wall.
“Being traded to Winnipeg, I’m very excited for the opportunity. I think it’s a good fit for me,” he said.
“I hope I can be a guy they can rely on there in the back end. … I just hope to be a seamless fit there and help this team push for the playoffs, and get into the dance.”
In a strange twist of fate, DeMelo’s first game as a Jet will be Thursday in Ottawa against his old Senators teammates.
“I guess that’s kind of lucky that maybe I don’t have to leave (Ottawa) and rush out of here. It has to happen at some point, so maybe it’s good to get that first one out of the way.”
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff told media DeMelo had been on the team’s radar for quite some time.
“He’s someone that you kind of watch from a distance. … We’ve really liked his progression over the course of time, to what he’s become over his growth as a player, his development.
“The opportunities, you don’t know if they’re going to present themselves, but that’s what the scouting world is for,” he said.
The Jets also announced Tuesday that they have placed defenceman Luca Sbisa on injured reserve.
With files from The Canadian Press