The Winnipeg Jets have acquired defenseman Dylan DeMelo from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2020 3rd round draft pick.
The Jets badly need a defenseman. Dustin Byfuglien isn\’t coming back this season. Neal Pionk is in the middle of a career season with 38 points, but the depth on the right side is lacking behind him. Tucker Poolman has played in a career high 46 games this year, but he\’s 26 and has not shown signs of being a future piece. 23 year old Samu Niku has played in just 16 games, taking six penalties. He had one penalty in his previous 31 career games. DeMelo comes in at a good cost. He will not score, but he is a good defensive defenseman, and suitable for a bottom four role. Even though he is a rental, a third round pick is not much. He will turn 27 in May, so they could re-sign him. He averaged nearly 20 minutes a night in Ottawa, and while he should probably be averaging around 18 for a playoff team, the Jets might need him to play even more. Playing on a horrible Senators team, DeMelo has been a +2 player in his two year career with the club. Besides Pionk and Josh Morrissey, the defense will be a big issue. DeMelo will help easy the load of starting goalie Connor Hellebuyck, who has faced an NHL high 1520 shots, saving a high of 1397.
DeMelo, 26, has no goals with 10 assists in 49 games for the Senators this year. In his NHL career for the Senators and San Jose Sharks, DeMelo has seven goals with 57 assists for 64 points in 259 games.
The Senators are starting their third annual fire sale. While it won\’t be as big as last year\’s or as small as 2018\’s, the team is expected to bring in some high draft picks. Jean-Gabriel Pageau and potentially Anthony Duclair will go. DeMelo is the start. A third rounder is a little light, especially after the Devils got a second round pick and David Quenneville from the Islanders for Andy Greene. However, Greene is better and more experienced and was New Jersey\’s captain. I thought that Ottawa could\’ve gotten an add-on pick, like a sixth or seventh.