WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Jets stayed quiet on the first day of free agency until they made a trade to pick up a right-winger.
The Jets acquired Devin Setoguchi from the Minnesota Wild for a second-round pick in the 2014 draft Friday, adding another player in to the top-6 forward mix.
“We’re thankful that as the day went on the trade possibility reignited, or at least maybe went from a smolder to something that was live,” general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said.
Cheveldayoff said last week one of his top priorities was to improve at right wing, then traded for Michael Frolik from the Chicago Blackhawks at the draft. Frolik figured to compete for a second-line role, but Cheveldayoff didn’t rule out making another move.
That came Friday evening when he got Setoguchi, who was being shopped by the Wild.
“The opportunities are there on the right side for both of those players to grasp and to help us grow,” Cheveldayoff said. “But we feel we’re a much better team today than we were entering the NHL entry draft with the two players that we just acquired.”
Setoguchi had a career-high 31 goals and 65 points in 2008-09 while with the San Jose Sharks and hasn’t come close to hitting that mark since. The 26-year-old had 13 goals and 14 assists this past season, something Cheveldayoff chalked up to Setoguchi being forced into a smaller role.
“He’ll have a very good opportunity for a role to be a prolific offensive player for us,” Cheveldayoff said. “The future’s all left to be written.”