After yet another season of disappointment, the Winnipeg Jets have a ton of decisions to make. Darren Dreger of TSN reported that the Jets are listening to offers on Mark Scheifele. If that wasn’t enough, Pierre LeBrun also reported on Insider Trading that Pierre-Luc Dubois requested a trade, and The Athletic reported that cornerstone goaltender Connor Hellebuyck also wouldn’t sign another contract (from ‘NHL Offseason Trade Board 2.0: The Latest on The Jets, Leafs, Flyers, and more – and how it impacts the market,’ The Athletic, June 10, 2023).

That is an awful lot for Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to handle, and it’s possibly his toughest task since arriving in Winnipeg. Elliotte Friedman said that the Jets have no intentions of rebuilding, but with a Hellebuyck trade, they may not have a choice. There’s no doubt that the former Vezina-winning netminder will command a haul, so Cheveldayoff should act sooner rather than later. He’ll be a busy man this summer, but this should be his first priority.

Hellebuyck’s main focus is to win, so either a contender or a young team on the rise are excellent candidates for the Michigan native. Here’s a look at three teams that would not only be an optimal fit for Hellebuyck but ideal trade partners for the Jets.


Buffalo Sabres

The Buffalo Sabres are an interesting trade partner because they may or may not have finally found their solution in net. But will they be okay sending a young netminder with promise for an already proven commodity? For years, the constant problem with the Sabres and their inability to take the next step has been their goaltending and defense. So far, it seems like the defensive part is sorting itself out. Rasmus Dahlin is shaping up to be the player the Sabres thought they were getting when he was drafted first overall in 2018. Now, it’s time to address the crease.

Both Devon Levi and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen are thought of highly in Buffalo, but if the Sabres want a player like Hellebuyck, you have to give to get. The Jets’ goalie pipeline isn’t anything to write home about. They have Mikhail Berdin, who’s an unrestricted free agentand on loan in the Kontinental Hockey League, along with Arvid Holm and Oskari Salminen, who still need to work on their consistency in the American Hockey League. Beyond them, there are no pro-ready goalies in the system. If a trade with Buffalo happens, negotiations should start with Levi or Luukkonen.