NHL Rumours: Winnipeg Jets, Anaheim Ducks, New York Rangers and More

NHL rumours

Pull up a chair and settle in for Wednesdays NHL Rumours. Last Word On Hockey is bringing you the latest collection of NHL Rumours from around the league! Today we’re checking in with the Winnipeg Jets, Anaheim Ducks, New York Rangers, and Vancouver Canucks.

All NHL Rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Winnipeg Jets

Rumour: Our first NHL Rumour is from Frank Seravalli. He mentioned that the Jets offered Nikolaj Ehlers to the Carolina Hurricanes for a right-handed defenceman.

Analysis: Ehlers is young and talented. Though he’s coming off a tough season, he’s still an incredibly valuable asset to a team. But he’ll carry a hefty price tag.

The Jets desperately need to build up their blueline, as they’ve already lost Jacob Trouba and are likely to lose Tyler Myers as well. The Hurricanes are looking to add to their forward group, and have some coveted right-shot defenders on hand. If the Canes do make a move for Ehlers, they could offer up Justin Faulk or Dougie Hamilton.

Carolina expressed their desire to keep Faulk, but if they’re looking at gaining Ehlers, they may change their tune. Faulk has one year left on his deal ($4.833M) while Hamilton has two ($5.75M). Either one is a great candidate to fill the Jets need for a puck-moving defenseman.

Anaheim Ducks

Rumour: Our next NHL Rumour takes us out west to the Ducks. Ken Campbell reports on The Hockey News podcast that if Nazem Kadri is available, the Ducks will aggressively pursue him.

Analysis: Recently named head coach Dallas Eakins is primed and ready to reboot the Ducks struggling roster. Considering the history Eakins has with Kardi, throwing his hat into the trade ring isn’t a surprise.

Kadri has been a huge part of the Leafs over the past two seasons. He’s entering the peak of his career and comes with a cap friendly contract of $4.5 million over the next three years.

Anaheim is vehemently searching for a center to fill the void on their second line. The physicality Kadri adds on the ice would be invaluable to the Ducks. Conversely, this level of physical play is probably what the Leafs are looking to get away from.

New York Rangers

Rumour: Darren Dreger tweeted that the Rangers aren’t done shifting their roster around after the block-buster Trouba trade.

Analysis: The Rangers are in the middle of a rebuild and they’re ready to cut loose players to stock up on picks and prospects. The team’s retooling is on a path paved with gold so far. They’ve added prime defence prospect Adam Fox, solidified the trade for Trouba, and lucked into the second pick of the 2019 NHL Draft.

Reportedly, Chris Kreider, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Pavel Buchnevich are all up for grabs. Kreider is a skilled, big body who posted 52 points last season. Namestnikov’s time in New York hasn’t been a complete success, and with his contract expiring, he might prove to be more of a trade asset. Buchnevich thrived this season under newly minted head coach David Quinn.

Most notably, the Buffalo Sabres inquired about Jimmy Vesey. Another player who improved under Quinn’s leadership, Vesey had a career year posting 17 goals and 18 assists. The team’s abundance of wingers is a point working against him. The Sabres have the proven defensive talent the Rangers need, and with Draft day quickly approaching, the picks that would come their way could be very enticing.

Vancouver Canucks

Rumour: Rick Dhaliwal stated that the Canucks could be after Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen or Zach Bogosian.

Analysis: Right-handed defencemen are a hot commodity. The Canucks are thin on the right side, so a trade with Buffalo makes sense. With defence being a top priority, Bogosian and Ristolainen are obvious targets.

Bogosian is the cheaper of the two, with $5.14 million and one year left on his contract. He’s a big presence on the ice but is prone to injury. Ristolainen is the more desired of them, despite his heftier $5.4 million cap hit left on his three-year deal.

Ristolainen’s contract could make him more attractive to a team in the long run, but his stats don’t paint him in the best light. He was at the bottom of the team in Corsi-for percentage (47.8) and had the worst plus-minus (-41) in the league this season. After averaging 24:38 minutes of ice time, he still doesn’t look like a number-one defenseman.

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