Ducks Provide Outlet For Jets To Trade Defenseman

The Winnipeg Jets are going through some big changes with their roster that already included the buyout of Blake Wheeler and the trade of Pierre-Luc Dubois. They aren't trying to rebuild, but they are trying to retool and stay competitive. One area of their team that has needed addressing for a while now is their defense as they first off have too many bodies, and secondly are overpaying a couple players.

This is where the Anaheim Ducks come in. They made some free agent additions that indicate they don't necessarily want to finish at the bottom of the league in 2023-24 by bringing in Alex Killorn and Radko Gudas. While they did add Gudas, they should not be done there and might even be waiting for an opportunity to get an asset to take a defenseman. The Jets should very much be considering the Ducks as a place to dump one of their contracts, specifically Nate Schmidt.

While the Ducks have young defensemen like Jackson LaCombe, Pavel Mintyukov, and Olen Zellweger who shoot left, they all might benefit from another year of development outside of the NHL. This means the Ducks have Robert Hagg, Urho Vaakanainen, and Colton White to choose from on the left side for their bottom two pairings. While they seem to be confident in Vaakanainen if he can stay healthy, the other two could use an upgrade. The Ducks won't be competing for a playoff spot this season, so taking on Schmidt to man the left side for 1-2 seasons won't hurt them at all.

The Jets would benefit from freeing up some cap space and a body so that Ville Heinola can finally have a spot opened up for him in the NHL. He doesn't have much longer until he will be waiver eligible and have to stick in the NHL or risk being claimed by another team. With Schmidt being the obvious player the Jets would like to move on defense, they might not have any other options.

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