Winnipeg Jets Trade Andrew Copp and Acquire Zach Sanford

Andrew Copp traded
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Eternally useful forward Andrew Copp has been traded by the Winnipeg Jets. He is on his way to the New York Rangers. The Jets have also acquired forward Zach Sanford from the Ottawa Senators for a fifth-round draft pick.

NHL free agent frenzy

Jets Trade Andrew Copp

If anything were to symbolize the Winnipeg Jets throwing in the towel on the 2021-22 playoffs, it’s that Andrew Copp gets traded. Oddly enough, it seems like they still want to try and go for it as they bring in Sanford to replace him. Sanford cost fewer assets so it’s a soft sell. However, it’s surprising they didn’t go one way or the other.

Copp was selected by the Jets 104th overall in the 2013 NHL entry draft. His first four seasons with the team were as a “utility forward”. A fourth-line guy who can play anywhere, any style. He’s still that now, but his play has improved to the point that he’s getting 20 minutes a game. He plays in front of the net or in the corners, works well on both special teams, and manages to avoid penalties. His faceoff percentage has always been very good. At 27 years old, what you see is what you get with Copp.

His $3.64 million deal is a very reasonable one given his role this year. There’s no doubt he’ll be looking for a raise as an unrestricted free agent come year’s end. The Jets may well have wanted to keep Copp, but they needed to go through arbitration last year. As well as it worked out for them, going through arbitration tends to sour a player on his team.

What This Means

Andrew Copp is the player every team is looking for going into the playoffs. Had the Jets been in a stronger position, they probably wouldn’t have moved him at all. Likely, they would instead have tried to get him signed to an extension. But with a spot in the second season looking more unlikely, they are switching gears.

While Copp has a decent price for his return, Winnipeg has clearly selected their core players. His spot will be filled by younger or cheaper – ideally both – players. The Jets hope their return can match or exceed the value Copp brought to the organization.

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