The Winnipeg Jets have acquired forward Kevin Hayes from the New York Rangers in exchange for forward Brendan Lemieux, a 2019 first round pick, and a 2022 4th round pick.
For the Jets, it was just a matter of time when they were going to get Hayes. They seemed like the team most likely to land him, and when the offer for Mark Stone was too high, they settled for Hayes. Hayes is a top-six forward that can play center and wing, and boost the Jets' lineup.
Hayes, 26, has scored 14 goals and 28 assists for 42 points in 51 games for the Rangers this season. In his NHL career, all in New York, Hayes has scored 87 goals with 129 assists for 216 points in 361 games.
The Rangers are rebuilding, and since Hayes is an upcoming UFA, it made perfect sense to trade him. They acquire a first round pick, which is always a good starting point, a 4th, and Lemieux, a young forward with NHL experience who can develop into a top-9 forward for them.
Lemieux, 22, has scored nine goals with two assists for 11 points in 44 games for the Jets this season. In his NHL career, all in Winnipeg, Lemieux has scored 10 goals and two assists for 12 points in 53 games.