The Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets have completed a blockbuster trade on Wednesday that has former Calder Trophy winner Tyler Myers heading to the Jets for the talented-but-troubled Evander Kane.
The Jets will get Myers along with forward Drew Stafford, prospects Joel Armia and Brandon Lemieux, and the last of Buffalo’s three first-round draft picks this year.
Experts said the trade is a boon to both teams, giving the Sabres a key part of what will be their rebuilding prospect without hurting their chances at finished dead last this year. The Sabres stand to draft one of two expected superstars — Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel — by finishing last, and acquiring the injured Kane will be sure to help cement them at the bottom.
Buffalo also acquires defenseman Zach Bogosian and college goaltender Jason Kasdorf in the trade.
CBS Sports writer Adam Gretz was high on the trade for Buffalo.
“I already mentioned this on Tuesday night when word first surfaced that the Sabres and Jets might be involved in a Kane trade, but it’s the best of both worlds for a Sabres team that has nothing to play for this season except for draft position. The season is a lost cause, and has been since October. They shed players that have no long-term value to them (and in some cases, helped get them into the position they are currently in) and add an in-his-prime 23-year-old goal-scoring forward. It’s a win-win. And because the team has made an effort to stockpile more first-and second-round picks than any other team in the NHL over the past few years, they had that extra trade chip to throw in without having to give up their own first-rounder.”
For the Jets, the trade will give them a boost for their playoff push. The team holds the top wild card spot in the Western Conference.
“I’m excited about what this trade brings to our organization,” Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said.
“At the end of the day, it is a big deal, but we think it’s something that’s going to help us both in the short term and really help us in the long term.”
The trade with the Buffalo Sabres could only be the beginning for the Winnipeg Jets. The team will now have Armia and Lemieux as possible trade pieces for the March 12 trade deadline, which could help them acquire more immediate impact players for the playoff run.