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AIH Mailbag: All trade rumours and no Juuso Valimaki make TJ a dull boy

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Our latest edition of the mailbag addresses a few trade possibilities as well as the dystopian possibility of life without Juuso Valimaki.

Carolina Hurricanes v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Hey, all! Welcome back to the Arctic Ice Hockey Mailbag! This will be a regular feature on the site, covering any questions you may have pertaining to the Winnipeg Jets. In order to kick your work week off right, join us each and every Monday for the publication of your questions and comments on the team.

In this week’s edition, we talk all about a few trade opportunities as well as some additional NHL Entry Draft coverage.

If you want to submit your questions or comments for next week's mailbag, you can tweet or direct message us on Twitter @arcticicehockey, use the hashtag #AIHMailbag, or email us at sbnarcticicehockey@yahoo.ca.

Enjoy!

Great question, J. In a perfect world - one where everything exists in a vacuum and 29 other NHL executives (excluding Vegas) covet said Winnipeg prospects - then perhaps it’s time to maneuver the roster. This offseason poses a different set of challenges than the ones that have come before it. With the Expansion Draft set to take place just over a week from now, there could be a situation where Winnipeg “allows” Vegas a crack at one of their better players in turn for Vegas selecting a player they covet elsewhere to return in a trade. Understandably, with the amount of moving parts required in a trade of this nature, I feel that it’s unlikely to happen; but it could still be a possibility. Aside from this, if a team were to show interest in a young player not named Josh Morrissey, Kyle Connor, Jacob Trouba, or Jack Roslovic, it might be time to see what can be had to make this line-up as playoff ready as it can be. But until I have an idea of what might be available on the open market, it’s difficult for me to speculate one way or the other. But to the principal of your question, yes, it’s time to get this roster prepped for a playoff push.

Thank you for the question, Kevin. From what I understand - and this is just from the Carolina Hurricanes I keep up with - Jaccob Slavin is considered borderline untouchable. Now, having said that, there is obviously a price point where any player can be had, so I tried to take a look at potential comparables just to see where the starting point would be in trade talks. His two closest counterparts are as follows:

ownthepuck.blogspot.ca
ownthepuck.blogspot.ca

If I were running the Jets front office (I’m not), I wouldn’t trade Jacob Trouba unless the return were astronomical. I would, however, look to parlay Marko Dano and a mid round draft pick for Slavin given both players fit and need related to the current roster. I’m not sure this would be deemed as being enough of a return for Carolina given Slavin is a defenceman who is starting to put together the makings of a good NHL career, but this would be my starting point. In any event, I don’t see Carolina as likely to trade him. They’re not in a position to put together a Stanley Cup run and - like Winnipeg - are loading up on prospects to compete in future seasons.

Hey, Vlad! Should the Winnipeg Jets’ live in this dystopian future that you speak of - one sans my favorite prospect - they will have two options afforded to them: One, they can take the best player available. Two, they could reach for a player that they perceive to be a fit. To tie this into your question in which the perceived fit would be another LHD the board after Valimaki looks like this:

Untitled

CSS RANK NA / EUR NAME HEIGHT WEIGHT TEAM LEAGUE
CSS RANK NA / EUR NAME HEIGHT WEIGHT TEAM LEAGUE
8 EUR Urho Vaakaninen 6' 0" 185 JYP FINLAND
9 EUR Erik Brannstrom 5' 10" 173 HV 71 SWEDEN
20 NA Nicholas Hague 6' 6" 215 Mississauga OHL
27 NA Pierre-Oliver Joseph 6' 2" 161 Charlottetown QMJHL

Of these players, I would be most interested in the two European prospects - being Vaakaninen and Brannstrom. Some are saying that Nicholas Hague could fall to the second round and Pierre-Oliver Joseph is a fringe first rounder.

Also to keep in mind is that if Valimaki were to be drafted before the Jets’ selection, there could be a very good BPA possibility that falls right into their laps. It's tough to speculate because there is a lot that could happen between now and Winnipeg’s selection, but I would lean toward going BPA in the first round regardless of fit while addressing pipeline needs later in the draft.