Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has never been very active in the trade market, preferring to build his team through the draft-and-develop model, but that was until 24 hours ago.
The Jets made a trade to bolster their blue line for the second straight day as they acquired another stud defenceman in Nate Schmidt in a deal with the Vancouver Canucks.
The Jets only surrendered a single draft pick to obtain Schmidt, giving up a third rounder in the 2022 NHL Draft to get the blue-liner.
The Jets once again got the benefit of a team needing space under the salary cap with the Canucks shedding Schmidt’s big contract that carries an average cap hit of $5.95 million per season for the next four years.
Schmidt, 30, played only one season with the Canucks. He notched five markers and 10 assists in 54 games during the pandemic-shortened season.
He played the previous three campaigns for the Vegas Golden Knights after breaking into the league with the Washington Capitals in 2013. He has 450 games of NHL experience.
Vancouver also acquired him for a third round pick from Vegas just a year ago.
The trade comes just a day after the Jets picked up defenceman Brenden Dillon from the Capitals for a pair of picks.
In the last 24 hours, the Jets not only signed pending unrestricted free agent forward Paul Stastny, but they also acquired two top-four defencemen, all for the price of two second round draft selections and a third round pick.
Suddenly the Jets have a glut of talent on their backend. The Jets now have $22 million committed to seven defencemen, and restricted free agents Neal Pionk and Logan Stanley still need new contracts as well.