(c) Geoff Brookes
Last spring I wrote an article called “Chevy’s Big Deal”. I responded to Chevy’s critics, who were complaining about the dearth of trades to improve the Jets. I pointed out how Chevy and his scouts were doing such a good job building an impressive collection of young players and prospects.
Well, on Wednesday, February 11, 2015, Kevin Cheveldayoff made his first NHL player for player trade – and it was a blockbuster! (One tweep asked whether such a trade should now be referred to as “a netflix”.)
Leaving town – Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian and goalie prospect Jason Kasdorf go to Buffalo;
Checking in – Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, prospects Joel Armia and Brendan Lemieux, and a first round draft pick (the later of St. Louis and the New York Islanders).
Evander Kane wasn’t realistically going to play another game for the Winnipeg Jets. Chevy’s quest was to get the best deal that he could for Kane. Zach Bosgosian, on the other hand, was an active player, contributing towards their playoff quest, and signed long-term.
Tyler Myers is described as having potentially a higher upside to his future growth as a player, compared to Bogosian. A former rookie of the year award winner, he’s described as a strong skater with a great shot. Bogosian isn’t small, but Myers is massive, at 6 feet 8 inches!
Among the active players, Drew Stafford is older, at 29, and a pending UFA. Chevy sounded optimistic that he might be able to sign Stafford before the UFA deadline, to keep him beyond just this year. Stafford has some scoring ability, having scored 30 goals four years ago, and 20 goals three other seasons. And Stafford can help the Jets at right wing down the stretch this year! I haven’t had a chance to watch last night’s game yet, but I understand that Stafford was likely to play on a line with Perreault and Scheifele!
Depending on the play of Myers and Stafford, this trade could help the Jets right now, in their playoff drive. But it could help them even more in the future.
The Jets acquired Joel Armia, a 21 year-old forward with some net-front presence and scoring ability. A former first round pick, 16th overall, he is reportedly almost ready to crack the NHL. He’s reporting to the St. John’s IceCaps.
But the prospect that people are raving about is Brendan Lemieux. Drafted 31st overall last year, he is playing with the Barrie Colts, under the tutelage of Dale Hawerchuck. Lemieux is the son of former Stanley Cup winner, Claude Lemieux. Brendan is an agitator with scoring ability, like his Dad. Brendan is 4th in OHL goal scoring, with 36 goals in 47 games so far this year – and 120 penalty minutes.
After the acquisition of these 2 prospects, Craig Button (TSN) says that the Jets have the best prospects in the NHL!
It doesn’t hurt that the Jets now have 2 first round draft picks in the upcoming draft, which is said to be a very good draft year!
Ultimately, the evaluation of this trade will depend on the future performances of all of the players involved. But, given Kane’s recent issues with the team, and his season-ending surgery, most Jets fans are amazed that Chevy was able to get as much as he did, in this deal!
Bonus material – some of the exciting Jets prospects:
Nikolaj Ehlers – F – QMJHL – 28-44-72 in just 35 games! Led Denmark to their first ever victory and playoff game in the World Junior tournament.
Josh Morrissey – D – WHL – 8-22-31 in 38 games. Won Gold for Canada at World Juniors.
Nic Petan – F – WHL – 10-42-52 in just 37 games! Won Gold for Canada at World Juniors. Tied for tournament lead in points, with 11!
Andrew Copp – F – US College – 13-11-24 in 24 games for the University of Michigan. Scouts raving about him.
Brendan Lemieux – F – OHL – 36-15-51 in 47 games. Scouts like him a lot!
Joel Armia – F – IceCaps (Rochester Americans) – 10-15-25 in 33 games.
Jimmy Lodge – F – OHL – 27-26-53 in 47 games.
Chase De Leo – F – WHL – 27-35-62 in 50 games. Played for US in world juniors.
Jan Kostalek – D – QMJHL – 4-25-29 in 40 games – and a whopping +40! Played for Czech in World Juniors.
Connor Hellebuyck – G – IceCaps – AHL allstar – 2.36 GA Avg., .926 Save %, 5 shutouts!
Eric Comries – G – WHL – 2.63 GA Avg., .918 Save %, Won Gold for Canada at World Juniors.
Jamie Phillips – G – US College – 1.85 GA Avg, .930 Save %
CJ Franklin – F – US College- 7-16-23 in 28 games.
Tucker Poolman – US College – D – 6-4-10 in 25 games – scouts very enthusiastic about him.
Some more prospects who are making the transition to pro:
Brendan Kichton – D – IceCaps – 48 points, all-rookie team in first AHL season, but just 3-11-14 in 38 games this year.
Scott Kosmachuk – F – IceCaps – 8-6-14 in 46 games.
JC Lipon – F- IceCaps – 1-11-12 in 48 games.
And a full list of prospects here, including many other Jets draft picks: