NHL Rumors: Teams Talking to the Winnipeg Jets About Rutger McGroarty’s Rights

NHL Watcher: Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts: The Podcast: “I’ve heard his name has come up in trade discussions, that the Jets have discussed trading and other teams have discussed acquiring McGroarty’s rights”

Ken Wiebe: “This definitely adds another layer of intrigue heading into the 2024 NHL Draft next week in Las Vegas. The #NHLJets first rounder and 14th overall pick in 2022 said in April after the NCAA Frozen Four that he was returning to the University of Michigan for his junior season.”

NHL Rumors: Ilya Mikheyev, Martin Necas, and the Toronto Maple Leafs

Murat Ates: “Huge turn. The implication is concern re: signing him. We’ll see where it goes and what we can unearth. This would be no small trade if it goes that route.

McGroarty is coveted for a lot of reasons, was taken 14th in 2022, and has taken such steps forward that I consider him Winnipeg’s top prospect.

Could be a way into the first round for WPG next week.”

Murat Ates of The Athletic: A league source said that Rutger McGroarty will likely be traded. Since his NCAA season ended, his long-term view of his future with the Winnipeg Jets has changed.

The Jets wanted to sign him back in April but they wouldn’t guarantee his playing time. He has watched several teammates this year and last sign deals and play immediately. The Jets didn’t think he was ready to make an impact and they wouldn’t guarantee him a roster spot next season.

A source said that McGroarty feels that to get to the NHL it’s best that it’s with another team.

McGroarty has good value and could land them a high first-round pick if they wanted to go that route. They could look for an older prospect who is ready to make an impact, or they could try for a top-four defenseman or package for a second-line center.

A trade will likely happen before the draft.

Mike McIntyre and Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Free Press: The Winnipeg Jets and Rutger McGroarty’s cap seem to be at an impasse on the direction of McGroarty’s career. The Jets may have to look at trading his rights or risk losing him for nothing if he chooses not to sign with them.

Back in April he said he wanted to return to school next year and not go pro. There was speculation that he may not want to sign with the Jets when he’s ready to leave school.

A source said that “He’s an NHLer. They will regret it,” and added that it is a business and they will do it if they have to.

Sources say that McGroarty thinks he may not be able to make the Jets roster immediately and may have to go to the AHL first, and the Jets have said as much. The source adds, “Winnipeg really needs to re-visit its development plan.”

NHL Rumors: Calgary Flames, Utah, and Short-Term with High AAVs

The Jets control McGroarty’s rights for two more years, so maybe there could be a change of heart.

Would the Columbus Blue Jackets be interested in Adam Fantilli’s best friend? The Carolina Hurricanes are looking to trade Martin Necas?