The Winnipeg Jets made a minor move right before the wire on the NHL’s trade deadline day, shipping off veteran winger Drew Stafford to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a conditional sixth round pick.
Jets trade Drew Stafford to the Boston Bruins for a conditional 6th
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) March 1, 2017
Drew Stafford Traded to Boston Bruins
Stafford’s name had come up in trade rumours the past couple days. He is in the final year of his two-year contract and is set to become unrestricted free agent come July 1. He has a cap hit of $4.35 million per season.
The former 2004 first round pick (13th overall) of the Buffalo Sabres was an instant hit when he got his chance in the 2006-2007 season. He netted 27 points in 41 games and continued to develop from there, potting a career-high 31 goals in 2010-2011. Unfortunately, that was the peak for the now 31-year-old native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A couple years later he was a piece of the blockbuster deal that saw defenceman Tyler Myers sent to Winnipeg for Evander Kane.
Once again Stafford made a good first impression. He had a total of 19 points in 26 games to help push the Jets to their first playoff appearance since 1996. The Anaheim Ducks swept them in the first round.
The winger continued he strong play the next season with 21 goals, but Stafford hasn’t had much success this time around. While Winnipeg is giving their young players more ice time and the 11-year veteran saw his substantially cut. He was penciled in on the fourth line and sometimes a healthy scratch.
So far this season he has four goals and 13 points in 40 games.
Stafford will most likely be a bottom six player with his new club. He provides a scoring punch that is needed for a playoff push and will add leadership to the Bruins locker room when he arrives.