Winnipeg Jets Rumors: 2 Defensemen On The Move

The Winnipeg Jets have a lot of decisions to make this offseason. Although the spotlight might be on which of the star players stay or go, there are also some questions regarding the defense. Once again the Jets displayed that they have too many bodies on the back-end and the group stays relatively very healthy.

With at least nine defensemen capable of playing in the NHL and under contract, one to two trades should be in order. Before any trades occur, the Jets can easily move on from one of their defensemen, Logan Stanley, since he is a RFA, was hardly used this season and should be considered a fringe NHLer at best at this point. The big defender got into just 19 games and the Jets aren't likely to give him a qualifying offer, sending him to free agency as a UFA.

The next move will be a little more complicated and more difficult to predict. On the right side, Neal Pionk is the only defenseman really worth keeping around. He's 27 years old and even though he was overshadowed offensively this season by Josh Morrissey, he is still a good option on their back-end. The defensemen in question should be Nate Schmidt, Brenden Dillon, and Dylan DeMelo.

The Jets have far too many left-shot defensemen as four of their top six are lefties, both of their scratches (Stanley and Kyle Capobianco) are, and Ville Heinola is as well, their prospect who is still pushing for a shot. The only righties they have are Pionk and DeMelo. Since DeMelo is under contract for $3 million for one more season, this should make him safe.

Schmidt regressed to a third pairing role, but is being paid $5.95 million AAV for two more seasons. He is overpaid and will be tough to move, but if the Jets intend on going for it again next season, they will have to find a way to move on from Schmidt. Dillon will be a bit easier to move due to his contract, but either way, Heinola has been stewing in the minors for too long and has been effective when he's been called up. There needs to be a spot cleared out for him, and with Stanley and Schmidt/Dillon gone, there should be.

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