The Jets will need to add some low-cost depth to their system in the hopes of giving themselves a little bit of salary cap flexibility by carrying some minimum-salary players and it appears that one of the players they’re eyeing is winger Evgeny Svechnikov. Sportsnet’s Ken Wiebe is among those to report (Twitter link) that there is mutual interest between Winnipeg and the 24-year-old though no agreement is in place yet.
Svechnikov was the 19th-overall pick by Detroit back in 2015 but has seen his stock drop steadily since his rookie professional season where he had 51 points in 74 games. He missed all of 2018-19 due to a knee injury and has had trouble staying in the lineup since then as well.
Last season, Svechnikov cleared waivers in training camp but wound up only playing in four games with AHL Grand Rapids where he had a goal and an assist. Instead, he split the season between the Red Wings and their taxi squad, getting into 21 NHL contests where he had a respectable five goals and three assists despite averaging less than 12 minutes a game in ice time. However, Detroit declined to tender him a qualifying offer last month, making him an unrestricted free agent.
With Winnipeg currently being very tight to the salary cap (even with Bryan Little’s LTIR room), the Jets will need to have some cheaper players to call upon in case of injury. Svechnikov would certainly fit the bill and with the flashes of upside he has periodically shown with Detroit, he’s someone that likely would get a long look in training camp if they can get an agreement in place.