NHL Rumour Report: Major trades brewing in Winnipeg as NHL draft, free agency approach

The Winnipeg Jets core is going to look a lot different next season.

- Rumours continue to swirl around the Winnipeg Jets as they get close to decision time on many of their big players. Connor Hellebuyck, Mark Scheifele and Pierre-Luc Dubois are all coming close to the end of their deals and it's expected at least one of them will be moved this offseason. 

- It's no secret that Dubois, a Quebec native, has a desire to play for his hometown Canadiens, and it's believed the two teams have already talked about the parameters of a deal this offseason. The alternatives for Winnipeg are to send him somewhere he doesn't want to go - or hold on and lose him for nothing next summer - which would be bad for both parties. It's believed Dubois has given the Jets a bit of a nudge in recent weeks to make a trade happen sooner rather than later, whether it's Montreal or elsewhere.

- Schiefele has wondered out loud if he might be ready for a change of scenery. Management seems more willing than in previous years to make a trade happen.

- Hellebuyck is likely the piece that nets the best assets, following a return to Vezina-form season for the American netminder. Hellebuyck has reportedly made it clear to the team that he doesn't want to stick around for any kind of rebuild, and although the Jets insist that they want to remain competitive, it's going to be hard to replace all of these core of players. Plenty of teams have been linked to Hellebuyck, with the Kings, Sabres, Red Wings and Devils among the early candidates in what should be a fairly competitive bidding war.

- To a lesser extent, Blake Wheeler's name has been out there. Wheeler isn't the player he once was and has an onerous cap hit $8.2 million dollar cap hit, albeit for just one season. If he's not moved this summer, he could still end up getting dealt that the 2024 trade deadline when teams can stomach bigger cap hits. A buyout is an option the Jets are weighing as well.

- There have also been rumblings about players further down in the depth chart such as Brenden Dillon, Nino Niederreiter, Dylan DeMelo and Logan Stanley. There is also some concern that the other big name forwards (who are not expected to be moved this summer), namely Kyle Connor and Nikolaj Ehlers, are looking on all of this turmoil unfavourably. Those two are up for extensions in a couple of years.

- Lots percolating in Winnipeg. Not many of these players are new to the NHL rumour mill, but the time for the team to decide on them is coming up fast. Keep a close eye on this one in the coming weeks.

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References: 1, 2

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