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The Imperfect Trade: How trading Andrew Ladd and no one else shaped today’s Winnipeg Jets

How a single decision helped the Jets move forward in a bad season.

Chicago Blackhawks v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images

Two years ago the Winnipeg Jets traded Andrew Ladd to the Chicago Blackhawks for Marko Dano, a first round draft pick, and a third round draft pick. The first round pick eventually became Logan Stanley and Dano has struggled to remain in the lineup, but the trade itself was a smart move and also a move that altered the direction of the Jets without veering completely off course.

By trading Ladd the Jets were able to free up money that is now available for players like Nikolaj Ehlers and Jacob Trouba. This is important as the Jets are soon going to have many young players that need to be paid. More importantly however is that the Jets did not trade every veteran away; they kept Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien which gave the Jets the veterans needed to support the young players coming up. It was a smart move.

By making the correct call and trading only Ladd, the Jets set themselves up to have contributing veterans to help the young players while the adjust and prepare to take over the world.

Thos veterans would benefit from a restructuring of the forward lines now, with more focus being put on offence and less on grinding it out and being gritty. Outside of this minor concern (that will be explored more in depth during the Jets bye-week next week), the Jets have set themselves up got long-term success simply by recognizing that you cannot hand a team fully over to young players before they’re ready.

It is wrong for a team to simply trade all their veterans without having a solid plan for their young players. However, trading no veterans is just as bad when the team is heading for an abbreviated rebuild. Two years ago the Jets managed to strike the balance between trading everyone and trading no one and their are reaping the rewards today.