NHL trade deadline 2019: Rangers deal Kevin Hayes to Jets for Brendan Lemieux, first-round draft pick

The rebuild is real in New York. Days after unloading veteran winger Mats Zuccarello in a deal with the Dallas Stars, the New York Rangers have stayed true to their 2018-19 proclamation of a long-term overhaul, trading center Kevin Hayes to the Winnipeg Jets.

New York has received a first-round draft pick and 22-year-old winger Brendan Lemieux, plus a fourth-round pick if the Jets win the Stanley Cup, in exchange for Hayes. So the haul is sizable considering Winnipeg is getting an impending free agent. But the move also marks a clear focus on the future in New York, where Hayes was recently a 25-goal, high-upside center.

Originally a first-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, the 26-year-old Hayes has 14 goals in 51 games this season. Signed to a one-year, $5.175 million deal over the summer, he had a career-best 49 points in 2016-17 and figures to play as the No. 2 behind Patrik Laine in Winnipeg. He will be the second notable second-line center acquired by the Jets in as many years after the team landed Paul Stastny from the St. Louis Blues at the 2018 deadline.

Lemieux, meanwhile, has nine goals this year and becomes the latest addition to a remade Rangers core, which has seen the departures of Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi and J.T. Miller among others over the last season and a half.

Categories: National Sports

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