The Winnipeg Jets appeared to have made the first big move of trade deadline day.
According to multiple reports from National Hockey League insiders from around the league, the Winnipeg Jets appear to have an agreement in place that will bring New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes to Winnipeg. This is a huge addition for the Jets with Hayes arguably being the strongest player, with the possible exception of Mika Zibanejad, on the Rangers roster this season, especially when you consider the need the Jets have had at the center position since the departure of Paul Stastny as a free agent prior to the start of the 2018 - 2019 National Hockey League regular season.
According to a breaking news report from TSN National Hockey League insider Bob McKenzie the pieces going back the other way to the New York Rangers are the Winnipeg Jets 1st round draft pick in the 2019 National Hockey League Entry Draft, 22 year old forward Brendan Lemieux and a conditional pick that has as of this time not yet been identified. McKenzie is reporting that this trade is a done deal, however he does caution that the trade call has not been made official just yet so this trade could technically still fall apart.
Hayes will not only bring considerable size up the middle of the ice for the Jets but he also brings significant offensive talent as well. In spite of playing on a struggling New York Rangers team all season Hayes has produced offensively with 14 goals and 28 assists for a total of 42 points in 51 games this season.
As for the Rangers they will be getting a tough and gritty forward in the form of Brendan Lemieux and one that is relatively young which is a perfect fit for a rebuilding franchise. There are rumors that the Rangers have had their eyes on Lemieux for some time now which explains their interest in the young forward and he is coming off a pretty solid season as well with 9 goals and 1 assists for a total of 11 points in 44 games this season and a plus mins rating of +10 on the year.
That being said it does appear that the agreement is in place and that this trade is indeed a done deal. Stay tuned for more information.