December 9, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has been able to add ten prospects and two NHL roster players since the draft and is confident his team is better today for it.
Cheveldayoff made the latest addition late on Friday afternoon, sending his second-round pick in the 2014 NHL draft to the Minnesota Wild for right winger Devin Setoguchi.
Setoguchi had 13 goals and 14 assists last season with the Wild and in 384 NHL games has scored 116 goals and 106 assists. The 26-year-old Taber, Alta., native had his best season in 2008-09, scoring 31 goals and adding 34 assists.
The Jets also flipped draft picks to the Chicago Blackhawks on draft day to pick up right winger Michael Frolik.
"We feel we’re a much better team today than we were entering the NHL entry draft with the two players (Setoguchi and Michael Frolik) we were able to acquire," said Cheveldayoff.
Setoguchi is in the last year of a deal that pays him $3,250,000 this season, with a cap hit of $3,000,000.
Nothing is written in stone, but Setoguchi will most likely open training camp on a line with left winger Evander Kane. The centre position will be up for grabs, with the likes of veteran Olli Jokinen and rookie Mark Scheifele vying for the second-line opportunity.
Cheveldayoff said the the Setoguchi trade talks also began on draft day.
"I guess the first time I had a conversation with (Wild GM Chuck Fletcher) was on the draft floor. We were looking to do something with some of the picks we had acquired," said Cheveldayoff. "At that point in time Chuck wasn’t prepared to do anything, so we went ahead with the (Michael) Frolik deal but kept in touch as the days transpired, and then it kind of came together late this afternoon."
Setoguchi is in Mexico for a friend’s wedding and was unavailable to speak with the media Friday. Cheveldayoff did speak with him for a few minutes on Friday afternoon and said the player was enthused about the deal.
"His cellphone battery was dying, but he did get in that he was excited before we hung up, and I’m going to speak to him again later (Friday)," said Cheveldayoff.
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