NHL Trade Rumors: Analyzing Latest Buzz on Patrik Laine's Future with Jets

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IDecember 29, 2020

Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine (29) warms up before an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

With a new NHL season set to begin Jan. 13, the league's 31 teams will soon be holding training camps. There will always be buzz about potential moves that could take place now or before the trade deadline.

Patrik Laine's name has been heavily featured in trade rumors this offseason, yet as the season draws closer, the 22-year-old forward remains on the Winnipeg Jets' roster. That doesn't necessarily mean he wants to be there, though.

On Monday, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reported that Laine is expected to be at the Jets' training camp, which begins Sunday, but that "his mindset hasn't changed; he'd still prefer a move." However, there may not be a potential deal on the horizon, despite Laine's feelings toward his situation.

"It doesn't sound like a trade is close, but it's something to keep tabs on," Pagnotta tweeted.

Pagnotta wrote that the Jets have been "taking calls" regarding Laine, who didn't formally request a trade, although his agents told TSN in October that both Laine and Winnipeg would benefit from a deal. Two months later, nothing has materialized despite those reports.

According to Pagnotta, the teams that have "expressed some level of interest" in Laine during the past two offseasons include the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers.

"It is unclear if talks with any of those teams are currently ongoing," Pagnotta wrote. "While a trade out of Winnipeg is preferred, a transaction before the start of the regular season on January 13 might not be in the cards unless Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff finds a package he deems acceptable. So far, talks have lingered."

Laine was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft, and he's still only 22. Over his first four seasons with Winnipeg, he's tallied 138 goals and 109 assists in 305 games. Last season, he had 63 points (28 goals and 35 assists) in 68 games, and he may have gone on to set a career high had the regular season not ended early due to the coronavirus pandemic.

If Laine doesn't get traded before or during the season, it's still possible he could leave the Jets next offseason. He only has one year remaining on his current contract (he's set to make $7.5 million) before he becomes a restricted free agent in 2021.

Winnipeg has made the playoffs in three straight seasons, but it's lost in the first series each of the past two postseasons. The Jets could be poised to get back there in 2021, and Laine may end up being a key reason for that.

However, with speculation and rumors set to continue, Laine's situation is something to continue monitoring as the new season gets underway.


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