Winnipeg Jets Linked to Hurricanes Restricted Free Agent

The Nikolaj Ehlers talk is in full swing and the Winnipeg Jets are certainly attempting to map out the best possible outcome for the team and the player. Talks of strong interest from the Jets in a current restricted free agent (RFA) out of Carolina have only doused this fire with more gasoline.

Martin Necas’ time with the Carolina Hurricanes seems to be coming to an end. The forward is an RFA with arbitration rights and has a qualifying offer of $3,500,000 should he only take a one-year contract wherever he ends up.

Necas didn’t rocket past his career-high season in 2022-23 when he posted 71 points (28G, 43A) in 82 games, but he still performed quite well this past season with 53 points (24G, 29A) in 77 games.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger added on the off-season watch that the Winnipeg Jets are among the suitors given their situation with Ehlers.

“A lot of speculation around one of their veteran forwards, and that’s Nikolaj Ehlers, he is going into the final year of his contract, and I know that general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff is at least open to having conversations with interested general managers.”

Darren Dreger on Insider Trading – June 13, 2024

This doesn’t shut the door at the Jets bringing in a younger talent in Necas who turned 25 in January. The 2017 12th overall pick would solidify the Jets’ right-wing depth for the foreseeable future with Gabriel Vilardi who turns 25 this August.

“He (Ehlers) is going into the final year of his contract, and I know that general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff is at least open to having conversations with interested general managers. I think of the Carolina Hurricanes, potentially the connection there with Marty Necas also in play. But this is more of a financial issue for the Winnipeg Jets. Yeah, they’d like to keep Nikolaj Ehlers and extend him, but they have Kyle Connor who has two years left on his deal, and he is going to be a big-money ticket.”

Darren Dreger on Insider Trading – June 13, 2024

The Jets’ big-money ticket, Kyle Connor, will likely demand a hefty pay raise when his contract expires at the end of the 2025-26 season. Ehlers won’t be very different as he will most likely want a raise that brings his contract up to $9,000,000 or in that ballpark.

The Hurricanes would love to bring in a veteran winger who is quick on his feet and plays incredibly hard. The Jets should be eyeing up Martin Necas as a piece of their future.

Dreger also adds that Ehlers’ name has been out there in trade talks but also mentions that this isn’t a front-burner topic for Jets management. It will be interesting as the off-season progresses if the Jets and Hurricanes can strike a deal centred around Ehlers and Necas.

Conrad Jack

Conrad Jack is a lifelong hockey fan who is now actively writing for Inside The Rink covering primarily the Winnipeg Jets and the entire NHL second. He also covers the latest NHL News & Rumors, the NHL Entry Draft, and so much more for Inside The Rink.

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