SEATTLE – Just before the Winnipeg Jets hit the ice for an optional morning skate in Seattle, they got the news that their team was changing.

And by the time they got off the ice, it had changed again.

Such is trade deadline day in the National Hockey League.

A little under a month after acquiring Sean Monahan from the Montreal Canadiens, the Jets acquired his Ontario Hockey League teammate – Tyler Toffoli – from the New Jersey Devils.

A couple hours later, right-shot defenceman Colin Miller was also brought in from the Devils.

There were smiles in the room, and a big one on the face of head coach Rick Bowness.

“We’re thrilled,” said Bowness. “All the players are excited, all the coaches are excited, all of our fans should be very excited. Management and ownership has taken a big step here and they are showing they are all in. We are all in.”

Alex Iafallo, who played with Toffoli in Los Angeles from 2017-2020, couldn’t wipe the grin off his face. He spoke to Toffoli shortly after the deal.

“He’s pumped and everybody here is pumped to have him,” said Iafallo. “It’s definitely big for the locker room and on the ice. That will definitely help us. He looks after guys, too. He’s an important piece on and off the ice.”

Toffoli’s 26 goals this season immediately put him into a tie with Kyle Connor for the Winnipeg scoring lead. And along with his 794 career games and 510 points, Toffoli brings something else to the Jets room – Stanley Cup experience.

He won with the Los Angeles Kings in 2014 and was part of the Montreal Canadiens squad that went to the Stanley Cup Final in 2021.

“He’s got a little clutch factor in him. He scores big goals,” said Mark Scheifele. “He’s got a wealth of knowledge in terms of his experiences and what he went through. Just having a guy like that is huge.”

As for where Toffoli will slot in, Bowness said it’ll likely start on the wing with Monahan and Nikolaj Ehlers. Those conversations will begin when Toffoli joins the team in Winnipeg on Monday.

“Nik is a little more effective on the left side in terms of creating offence. So, we will see where Tyler fits in, but he certainly can score goals,” said Bowness. “He’s a good fit. When you get in the playoffs, man, you need to get a couple lines going. And you need a solid third and fourth line. This gives us great depth and gives us a lot of options.”

Those options continue on the blue line, where Miller and his 507 games of NHL experience will join a Jets defence corps that has helped Winnipeg remain at or near the top of the league when it comes to goals-against.

“He’s got a big shot from the point. He’s had a lot of playoff experience. We are just looking for another right-handed D,” said Bowness. “He’s a key acquisition as well. He will play an important part of our team moving forward as well. Again, I hear nothing but great things about his character. We are bringing in good players and just as important, we are bringing in good people.”

But the work is nowhere near done. The trades are done, yes, but there are still 21 games left on the regular season schedule.

The message has been sent from the organization, and Scheifele said it has been received loud and clear.

“When they got (Monahan), that was a message sent to the team,” Scheifele said. “Getting (Toffoli) was an even bigger one. It was a good message and it shows a lot of faith in this group. I’m very, very excited for what this team can do and I’m ready to welcome him aboard.”

Bowness has watched his team transform since the trade deadline last year when Cheveldayoff brought in Nino Niederreiter and Vladislav Namestnikov – two big reasons why the Jets are where they are in the standings today.

“They’re still here and very important parts of our team,” Bowness said, applauding the work Cheveldayoff has done to add two more big pieces on Friday. “We needed a second line centre, so he went out and got Sean Monahan. That’s a big move. We needed some more scoring, so he brings in Tyler Toffoli.

“Now we need another right-handed D and he goes out and gets one. So, Chevy has done an outstanding job at building this team and giving us depth and giving us different options to use. He’s done an outstanding job, and we’re really happy where we are and Chevy has obviously built this team.”