Major moves the Jets must make this off-season

James Connelly
May 31, 2023  (4:40 PM)

Taking a deep dive into the Winnipeg Jets' future and how the Jets should prepare for it this offseason.

Major moves the Jets must make this off-season

The Winnipeg Jets are at a crossroads. They have a mix of old talent and young prospects that are getting carried by a Vezina-caliber goalie. They started off hot but crumbled in the middle of the season and eventually got defeated in five by the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round.
Here is what I think they should do this offseason.

Blow It Up

Hard launching a rebuild right off the bat. The Jets have fantastic young pieces to build around like Cole Perfetti, Brad Lambert, Rutger McGroarty, Chaz Lucius, Nikita Chibrikov, Ville Heinola, and Elias Salomonsson.
Last year, the Jets' youngest players of impact were Pierre-Luc Dubois and Morgan Barron who were both 23. Their top six plus top pair players were 35, 29, 29, 28, 27, 26, 25, and 23 respectively. These are all players in their primes yet Winnipeg cannot find a way to get a deep playoff run out of them.
My proposal would be to trade the following players:
Blake Wheeler
Mark Scheifele
Pierre-Luc Dubois
Connor Hellebuyck if the price is right
Wheeler and Scheifele are in the final years of their deals and if Winnipeg were to retain some of their salary, they could wind up getting a haul for each of them. They are older and could walk in free agency next year so getting assets would be important. I think the Jets could get a first and a solid prospect for Wheeler and at least 2 first-round picks and a top prospect for Scheifele.
Dubois is an interesting case, he clearly wants out of Winnipeg but is an RFA. Winnipeg will not get market value for Dubois but they can get in between what they could get for Scheifele and what they could get for Wheeler. If Dubois is open to an extension with the team he gets traded to, he is the most valuable player on the Jets.
Hellebuyck is the biggest question mark. If the Jets trade him, they commit to a rebuild and likely replace him with a UFA like Tristan Jarry or Frederick Andersen. The perfect trade partner for the Jets would be Buffalo because they are a goalie away from being cup contenders. A potential Hellebuyck trade to Buffalo could net the Jets Ukko-Pekka Lukkonnen, the 13th overall pick this year, and a prospect like Jiri Kulich or Noah Ostlund (first-round picks in 2022)

The Roster I Would Want to See

I would want to see the Jets commit to a rebuild and I think their lineup next year on opening night could look something like this:
The trades that would happen would send:
Hellebuyck to Buffalo for Kulich, Lukkonnen, and the 13th pick
Wheeler to Toronto at 75% retention (another team would need to retain) for Rodion Amirov, Topi Niemela, and a 2024 3rd
Scheifele at 50% retention to Carolina for Scott Morrow, a 2023 first(30th overall), and a 2024 2nd that upgrades to a first dependent on if the Hurricanes make the Eastern Conference finals.
Dubois to Montreal for Joshua Roy, Floridas 2023 first, and Christian Dvorak

Closing Thoughts

If Winnipeg wants to win a cup, they need to go all in on a rebuild, the current core is not cut out to win one. But that is just my opinion. You may agree or disagree. At the end of the day, this is simply speculation and hypotheticals.
MAY 31   |   70 ANSWERS
Major moves the Jets must make this off-season

Should the Jets go into a rebuild?

Yes4564.3 %
No2535.7 %
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