The Winnipeg Jets have added a new defenceman to the mix, in advance of Monday’s upcoming Trade Deadline. On Tuesday afternoon General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Jets picked up blueliner Dylan DeMelo from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2020 third round draft pick.
DeMelo, 26, is from London, ON. and has suited up in 49 contests for the Senators this season, collecting 10 assists and 31 penalty minutes in the process. His four-year NHL career has seen the defender compile seven goals, 64 points and 125 penalty minutes in 259 total games.
“It’s a good fit for me. With Byfuglien and Trouba being out, they’ve been talking about getting a defenceman, kind of all year,” DeMelo said in a conference call Tuesday. “I’m happy they chose me and I’m hoping I can be that guy for them.”
The newest member of the Jets should provide some shutdown defence, while also adding a slight offensive flair. Used sparingly on the Senators’ power play, DeMelo has been an active penalty killer, while crunching some heavy duty minutes earlier in this career in San Jose.
“I’m kind of happy that it’s done now. It’s more of a relief to know where you stand,” DeMelo added. “I hope to be a guy that is relied on there on the back end. I’m a solid, reliable defenceman. A guy that can log minutes against top lines. The last few years in Ottawa, I’ve been able to get an opportunity to showcase that on a more consistent basis.”
With the departure of Jacob Trouba via trade and Tyler Myers, Ben Chiarot and Joe Morrow to free agency this offseason, the Jets found themselves in trouble on the back-end. Then Dustin Byfuglien announced his removal from the team, before injuries set in to Sami Niku, Dmitry Kulikov, Nathan Beaulieu and Tucker Poolman. Waiver pick ups Luca Sbisa and Anthony Bitetto also have fared well, but DeMelo’s arrival will provide some much-needed support on the blueline.