The Winnipeg Jets have traded for Mason Appleton for a 2023 fourth-round pick, re-acquiring him from the Seattle Kraken who picked him in the expansion draft last summer. This is a trade. However, one can see the logic in the trade. The Jets are getting a known player at a time they are looking to move out expiring contracts. They are getting a player who is a restricted free agent (RFA) at the end of the season instead of a UFA. His contract is only $900 000 this season which means his qualifying offer this off-season will be $945,000 (thanks to the brilliant CapFriendly Qualifying Offer Calculator).
He has 17 points this season including six goals in 49 games this season. He had 25 points in 56 games last season. Winnipeg currently has a body issue. It seems likely that they will be trading Andrew Copp and Paul Stastny tomorrow. According to Frank Servavalli, they have an offer for two seconds for Copp and could see that change to a first tomorrow. Only issue might be the Jets being unable to eat any salary I think (I am bad with the salary cap). Stastny is in the same boat as he is on an expiring contract.
They also have multiple players including forwards Kristian Reichel and Cole Perfetti on long-term injured reserve. They have also just lost Adam Lowry for at least five days. If they are moving bodies out, they need bodies to come back which is unlikely when trading with contending teams. A minimal asset loss (fourth round pick) for a known player makes sense in this case.
This is one of those trades that means nothing. It is the Jets getting a warm body that they know and can play on the third or fourth line while they wait for players to return from injury. This is just a move so they can make bigger moves tonight or tomorrow.