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Cheveldayoff: "We're excited about moving forward with a player of Jiri's talents."

by Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick) / Winnipeg Jets


– General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff announced earlier today that the Winnipeg Jets have acquired Jiri Tlusty from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a third-round pick in the
2016 NHL Draft, and a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2015 draft.

The conditional pick will become a fifth-rounder if the Jets make the playoffs this season.

“He has the ability to play with skilled players, the ability to play on the power-play and score some goals,” Cheveldayoff said. “He can play the left side or the right side, and that can be important as times goes on and you get into the stretch run. There’s also some familiarity with some of our existing players, so fitting into the locker room will be an easy thing. Any time that you can
have a smoother transition with a new player coming in, that helps.”

Tlusty, who has 13 goals and 23 points in 52 games this season, played under Head Coach Paul Maurice in Toronto during the 2007-08 season, and again from 2009 to 2011 in Carolina.

“The conversations I have with Paul are very valuable,” Cheveldayoff said. “We talk often about the roster and in a case like this with Jiri, when you’re making a trade of this magnitude, I want my coach to feel comfortable with it. We’re both on the same page in that regard and we’re both
excited about moving forward with a player of Jiri’s talents.”

With the NHL’s Mar. 2 Trade Deadline fast approaching, the timing was right. While injuries to Blake Wheeler and Mathieu Perreault have tested the depth of the Jets’ forward lines, Cheveldayoff said
he was looking to add, anyway.

“We don’t (decisions like this) lightly,” he said. “It’s always a steep price when you’re talking about draft picks. They’re the future. You’ve got your roster, your prospects and draft picks. That’s your currency.

"The room has been sending me the message. (The trade) is a message to the room that we’re all-in here.”

Asked whether or not the Jets would be active between now and the deadline, Cheveldayoff said he would rather “under-promise and over-deliver.”

“We’ll be active on the phones until the chiming of the deadline, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that something is out there. We’ll certainly be active to see where we’re at and where the market is

In 396 career games over eight NHL seasons, Tlusty has recorded 86 goals, 165 points and 116 penalty minutes. In the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign, the product of Slany, Czech
Republic, tallied 23 goals for the Hurricanes, which was tied for the fifth most in the NHL.

Tlusty was drafted in the first round, 13th overall in the 2006 NHL Draft.

— Ryan Dittrick,

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