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Jets Might Try to Extend Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck

Limited trade interest in Connor Hellebuyck and desire to keep Mark Scheifele might mean the Jets try extending both players.

According to a report by Murat Ates of The Athletic, potential trades involving goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and forward Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets have not gained much momentum this summer. Ates goes on to express his belief that both players are likely to be part of Winnipeg’s opening night lineup, and there might even be efforts to retain the two players beyond the length of their current deals.

He writes in a recent mailbag column:

I’m at the point where I expect both players to be in Winnipeg’s opening night lineup. I’ll go as far as to say I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jets are still working hard to find ways to keep them beyond this season.

While Ates acknowledges the possibility of a robust market for Mark Scheifele should the Jets decide to move him. Noting he thinks the player could garner, even as a rental: a first-round pick, a second-round pick, and a young roster player with top-six upside, he notes, “For me, this latter player would be the centerpiece of the deal.” He then went on to say that he’s wondered about the rumors of the Boston Bruins looking at Scheifele and if Jeremy Swayman (or Linus Ullmark) would be the principal player coming back as part of the return.

All that said, ideally, if Scheifele wants to stay, the Jets would love to keep him.

Mark Scheifele Connor Hellebuyck Jets
Mark Scheifele Connor Hellebuyck Jets

Meanwhile, Ates doesn’t think the trade market for Connor Hellebuyck is nearly as strong. Ates explains that finding Hellebuyck’s trade value is more challenging due to the lack of comparable deals. He points out that the last time a goalie with Hellebuyck’s caliber was traded, more teams were interested in acquiring number-one goaltenders. Today, the NHL is leaning more towards a tandem and paying less per goaltender than ever before, investing more in a duo. And, when you factor in that Hellebuyck doesn’t have a contract beyond this season but is rumored to want big-time money, the options are limited. Perhaps the Jets can use that to their advantage if they’re open to paying Hellebuyck closer to what he wants on a long-term deal than most other teams.

If Hellebuyck is not as desired, despite his exceptional skills and abilities in the net. that works in the Jets’ favor to potentially re-sign him. It’s not good if all roads are leading to a trade. That Hellebuyck hasn’t been moved already is a telling sign.

The Jets Will Know A Lot More Towards The End of the Summer

As the summer progresses, the Jets and their management may continue exploring potential trades and contract negotiations for these two key players. However, as it stands, it appears increasingly likely that both Connor Hellebuyck and Mark Scheifele will remain with the Winnipeg Jets, at least for the start of the upcoming season.

The uncertainty surrounding the market for Hellebuyck might play a significant role in the team’s decision-making process, and fans will be eager to see how the situation unfolds in the coming months. As for Scheifele, the ball is really in his court. If he wants to stay, the Jets would like to get that deal figured out.

Next: Does Arbitration Mean Maple Leafs Don’t Want Samsonov?

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