The Winnipeg Jets are not looking to trade defenseman Jacob Trouba, general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said in a press conference Tuesday. However, even as he denied rumors to that effect, Cheveldayoff left open the possibility of such a trade happening.
"Trying to trade Jacob Trouba?" he said. "This is an interesting time of year. I've seen lots of different scenarios out there of teams that are pushing hard that I haven't even heard from and I've talked to different teams that have asked different questions that I've certainly asked myself. I'm not trying to trade anybody. I think in this game there's a distinct possibility that anybody can get traded.
"So trying to trade him? No."
Cheveldayoff said the Jets will be working to re-sign Trouba and forward Mark Scheifele this offseason; each is set to become a restricted free agent.
Trouba had six goals and 21 points in 81 games this season. Scheifele had 29 goals and 61 points in 71 games. Each is finishing an entry-level contract.
Video: GM Cheveldayoff on the Draft, free agency and more
In order for either player to leave, the Jets would have to decline to match an offer sheet. Cheveldayoff said he's not too worried about that scenario.
"I don't spend a lot of time thinking about people targeting our RFAs for offer sheets," he said. "We are well positioned from a salary-cap standpoint. That really doesn't come into my thought process at all. We made sure that we would never be vulnerable to that."
Going into free agency, which begins July 1, Cheveldayoff said he will be seeking a left-shooting defenseman but would be open to signing a forward.
"I think we're gaining a lot of depth in the organization at forward, but if there's a player there, we'll try to make a fit," he said. "We'd look at a forward, but I think defense is a very tough thing to find in any year. A good left-handed defenseman would be something we'd look at as well."
The Jets' restricted free agents include forward Adam Lowry and goaltender Michael Hutchinson, while forward Matt Halischuk is among their unrestricted free agents.