Winnipeg Jets Add Dylan DeMelo For 3rd Round Pick

Jets shore up defensive depth ahead of push for the playoffs –

Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Winnipeg Jets got in on the trade deadline action on Tuesday when the team traded a 2020 third-round pick to the Ottawa Senators for right-handed defenceman Dylan DeMelo.

DeMelo, a six-foot, 190-pound product of London, Ontario, brings 259 games of NHL experience to the Winnipeg Jets.  The 26-year-old former sixth-round pick has suited up in 49 games this season with the Senators, picking up 10 assists and 31 penalty minutes while playing top minutes with star defenceman Thomas Chabot.  DeMelo is one of five players who had a positive plus/minus rating for the Senators this year.

DeMelo originally came to Ottawa last year as part of the trade package the Senators received for Norris Trophy-winning defenceman Erik Karlsson. Last season, DeMelo had career highs in goals (four), assists (22) and games played (77).

DeMelo is set to hit unrestricted free agency this summer as he comes off of a two-year deal worth 900k annually.

The Jets have found success in the third round before, nabbing Adam Lowry 67th overall in the team’s inaugural draft back in 2011. Connor Hellebuyck (2012, 130th), Andrew Copp (2013, 104th), Tucker Poolman (2013, 127th), Mason Appleton (2015, 168th) and Sami Niku (2015, 198th) highlight players selected by Winnipeg in rounds later than the third.

With the arrival of DeMelo, the Winnipeg Jets moved defenceman Luca Sbisa to the injured reserve.

Embed from Getty Images


Last season, I reprimanded Chevy and co. for their mismanagement of assets when they sent Brendan Lemieux and a first to the New York Rangers in exchange for Kevin Hayes.  The Jets were clearly floundering at the time and I didn’t see them making any noise in the playoffs.  Lemieux brought sandpaper to the lineup — something the Jets needed desperately (at the time and now to an extent).  The St. Louis Blues ultimately defeated the Jets in six games during the Western Conference Quarterfinals last year, and the Hayes trade has gone down as one of Chevy’s bigger blunders as GM.  The DeMelo trade is considerably more minor but has similarities to the Hayes deal on the surface.  The Jets have traded future assets for a rental player who isn’t likely to put them over the top.  Last year, the Jets WERE a playoff team, just one I didn’t see doing any damage come April.  This year, the Jets are a bubble team.  DeMelo may not even push them into the postseason never mind towards Lord Stanley.

Despite that, I actually quite like this move for Winnipeg.  DeMelo is solid defensively, something the Jets really need.  Will he be the Jets saviour?  No.  But this is a team that desperately needs defensive depth and they just added a solid D-man for pennies on the dollar.  Reports from Senator media suggest DeMelo has been playing like a legitimate top-four defender this year.  Now, some of that might be Chabot carrying him, but Chabot is a porous -25 (worst on the Senators) while DeMelo is a respectable plus-3 on a terrible hockey club.  A third is a measly price to pay for a solid defenceman who is young enough to be here long term. At 26-years-old, DeMelo still has lots of hockey left in him. He may elect to test UFA waters but his relatively low scoring means he should be cheap enough to retain.  I would offer him a three-year contract worth 2 to 2.5 million annually.  If he signs that, it takes him until he’s 30 and from there we can reconvene.

For now, he immediately pushes one of Anthony Bitetto, Nathan Beaulieu, Sbisa, Poolman, or Niku out of the lineup.  Personally, I would like to see DeMelo placed with Josh Morrissey on the team’s top pairing; Morrissey and DeMelo would effectively be the club’s shutdown pair.  My defensive lineup would be as follows:

Morrissey DeMelo

Beaulieu Pionk

Kulikov Poolman (Sbisa, once he’s healthy)



Kevin Cheveldayoff might not be done.  Darren Dreger reports the team might be in on a forward.  Guys like Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Ilya Kovalchuk, Kyle Palmieri and Conor Sheary have been thrown around.  The Jets have a pretty rough looking fourth line so it makes sense to add a forward but again I would be cautious about throwing out future assets for a rental.  Like the DeMelo trade, I would go bargain shopping.  A guy that makes a lot of sense to me is Barclay Goodrow from San Jose.  Goodrow is 26-years-old and has 24 points in 59 games this season with the Sharks.  He’s got one more year left after this but only makes 925k.  He also has 20 games of playoff experience from last season and would push someone like Bourque out of the lineup.  Not sure what San Jose would want for him but if he could be had for another mid-round pick (this year’s 4th or next year’s 3rd) plus a guy like Michael Spacek, then I would pull the trigger.

What do you think of the DeMelo trade? You can let me know in the comment section, or by Tweeting me, @WHTRiley.  I would love to talk hockey with you.



  1. Wayne Knutson says

    I Love this trade. Not expensive, and very retainable for next year, at a team friendly price. I also think there are more dominoes to fall. Nothing big, just solid.

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      I agree … DeMelo is going to surprise a lot of Jets fans like Pionk did.

      • At the cost of getting DeMelo, this has to be a plus for the Jets. Depth at defense has been glaring this year as the Buff saga tied up valuable revenue. Once this has been resolved, I suspect Chevy might be a bit more aggresive in the free agent market.

        • Mitch Kasprick says

          I agree

        • Riley Malinowski says

          Definitely. Buff’s cap space is valuable. I don’t expect anyone to trade for him at the deadline but something will be resolved this summer. I’m expecting a much more productive offseason this time around.

    • Riley Malinowski says

      I expect DeMelo to be back. He’s what this team needs and as you mention, he won’t be too expensive. And he is young enough that his play shouldn’t decline yet.

Blog Stats

  • 180,699 hits