How the Winnipeg Jets could be the big winners of tonight's Game 7.
Danny Wild/USA TODAY Sports  

How the Winnipeg Jets could be the big winners of tonight's Game 7.

Jets could win big.

Jonathan Larivee

There remains one more game to play in the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs, and that game will be tonight as the New York Rangers travel to Raleigh, North Carolina to take on the Carolina Hurricanes in the seventh and final game of their series. For both teams everything will be on the line tonight and as a result it is easy to see what they have to gain from a victory in Game 7, but another team also stands to win big tonight if things play out in their favor and that team is the Winnipeg Jets.

One of the big talking points for the Rangers in these Stanley Cup playoffs has been the strong play of trade deadline acquisition Andrew Copp. The veteran centerman has been nothing short of excellent for the Rangers with 8 goals and 10 assists for a total of 18 points in the 16 regular season games he played as a Ranger, and an additional 5 goals and 5 assists for a total of 10 points in the Stanley Cup playoffs through 13 games played.

There is a belief that Copp, who will be an unrestricted free agent on July 13th, is playing himself into a nice contract this offseason, but he may also be paving the way to a big return for his former team.

When the Jets made the deal to send Copp to New York they received a pair of second round picks back from the Rangers in the deal, both of which had conditions attached to them. For the purpose of this discussion only one of those conditions is relevant, the one attached to the Rangers' own second round draft pick at the 2022 National Hockey League Entry Draft. The condition attached to that pick causes it to upgrade to a first round draft selection in the event that the Rangers win a pair of playoff rounds, and that Copp appears in over half of the games in the process.

Copp has of course already appeared in every playoff game for the Rangers thus far and as a result, even if he were to miss the remainder of the Stanley Cup playoffs following tonight's Game 7, he would still be over the 50% threshold. The only thing now standing in the way of the Jets seeing their pick transform from a second round selection into a first round selection is the Carolina Hurricanes.

Perhaps no fan base outside of those belonging to the Rangers and the Hurricanes will be more interested in the outcome of tonight's game than that of the Jets who, for one night only, might find themselves cheering for the Rangers.