According to TSN insider Frank Seravalli, he’s adding a couple of interesting names to his trade bait board when the next list goes public. Both Winnipeg Jets star forward Patrik Laine and forward Nikolaj Ehlers are expected to be on the list and could be moved.
According to Troy Westwood of TSN1290 in Winnipeg, Seravalli said during a recent radio interview that both Laine and Ehlers could be trade bait.
If true, this is a pretty big deal.
First, in respect to Laine, this means the Jets might be considering trading a 50-goal scorer. That doesn’t happen very often in the NHL. One could make the argument that while Laine was a star upon his arrival, he hasn’t developed like others in his draft class. It could be because of a lack of really strong centers to play with or that he’s chosen not put the time and effort in, but there is a sense, at times, the organization has grown a bit tired of his lackadaisical attitude. At the very least, Laine has been something of a polarizing figure and his name has come up in trade rumors before.
Second, moving Laine would absolutely get the Jets what they desperately need in a top-two defenseman who can log huge minutes.
As for Ehlers, this is not the first time his name has been brought in a trade talks. Considered by many to be the forward the team could afford to lose in order to fill gaps in other places, Ehlers has been on the block for seemingly two seasons, even if there’s no real evidence trade talks were ever that serious in nature.
How Likely Is It Laine or Ehlers are Moved?
What should be noted here is that if Seravalli is adding both players to his board, there must be a reason. It could be as simple as him deducing that Winnipeg will need to do something drastic to acquire the pieces they need. Or, it could mean he’s heard something.
Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff is in a tough spot after giving up defenseman Jacob Trouba via a trade then losing star defenseman Dustin Byfuglien unexpectedly. Couple that with the loss of Tyler Myers in free agency and the overall result was that blue line was devastated.
What Would the Returns Be?
If both players are actually on the block, the debate over who to move will be an interesting one to watch. Laine makes the big bucks and is a prominent name who could score 50 on any NHL team if motivated. Ehlers is much-less costly but doesn’t have the “big-ticket” appeal.
Ehlers underlying numbers are good but he won’t fetch you the same value in return as a Laine will.
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