NHL Trade Rumors: One Team "Pushing Heavily" For Nikolaj Ehlers

The Carolina Hurricanes are reportedly pushing heavily to acquire Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers, according to Stefen Rosner of The Hockey News. 

This pursuit follows the Hurricanes' recent trade of pending free agent Jake Guentzel to the Tampa Bay Lightning, making the addition of Ehlers crucial for bolstering their lineup. 

Ehlers, 28, has a year remaining on his contract with a $6 million annual cap hit and is rumored to be unwilling to sign an extension with the Jets.

With the offseason departures of key players like Brady Skjei, Brett Pesce, Stefan Noesen, and Teuvo Teravainen, the Hurricanes are eager to fill the gaps and remain competitive in the Eastern Conference. 

The potential departure of restricted free agent Martin Necas, who has filed for arbitration, adds to their urgency. Offering Necas in a trade for Ehlers would be a significant move, and given Necas's higher value, the Jets might need to include additional assets to balance the deal. 

Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has praised Ehlers as an important part of their lineup, indicating he won't trade the winger lightly. 

From the Jets' perspective, addressing their thin center depth and questionable defense is crucial, especially after losing players like Brenden Dillon, Laurent Brossoit, Tyler Toffoli, and Sean Monahan during free agency.

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