When the Jets dealt a 3rd round pick back in February to the Ottawa Senators for defenceman Dylan DeMelo I am not sure how many folks anticipated him being this good a fit within the Winnipeg organization.
When Winnipeg was eliminated by Calgary on August 6th one of the big offseason questions was what the team would do to fill up their blueline for the 2020-21 season (whenever that gets underway).
According to CapFriendly the Jets have four Dmen signed for next season including Josh Morrissey, Neal Pionk, Carl Dahlstrom and Tucker Poolman with young guns like Dylan Samberg and Ville Heinola under contract and with the potential to step into new roles in the organization but who could also just as easily be spending their time seasoning in the AHL (or in Heinola’s case in the Liiga).
DeMelo is seen as a player who fits both from a cap perspective and what he is able to do on the ice.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was asked today in his end of season media availability whether conversations/negotiations have gotten underway with his representatives?
“I really, really appreciated what Dylan brought to the table from a play perspective and also from a person perspective. I thought he really fit in well. I said that going into the bubble situation and can say that coming out of the bubble play. We’ll definitely take a look at it. We haven’t had any negotiations with his representatives but there has been a constant communication with respect to the understanding that we think he is a good fit. Being an unrestricted free agent or potential unrestricted free agent there’s obviously different things that I’m sure they’re considering.”
He went on to say that the team has the benefit of knowing what the salary cap is set for next season and will just try to understand their own internal circumstances as they go forward to fill holes.
Provided there is interest from DeMelo this deal should be one that both sides could benefit from. We shall have to wait and see what happens next.