1. Carolina Hurricanes
With a surplus of defenseman unlike any team in the league, the Hurricanes match nicely with the Jets in any trade speculation. They also need better scoring balance. After their top line of Sebastian Aho (66 points), Teuvo Teravainen (63 points) and Andrei Svechnikov (61 points), no other forward scored more than 36 points this year. In Carolina, Laine would reunite with 2016 World Junior Championship linemate Aho.
Pierre LeBrun opined that Carolina’s offer for Laine could include defenseman Brett Pesce and center Vincent Trocheck as the prominent pieces. Brady Skjei, Jake Gardiner or even Dougie Hamilton could be the blue liner dangled in an offer for Laine. Pesce is under contract for four more years, at a cap hit of just over $4 million per, so the ‘Canes would understandably be hesitant to trade him. But they have other defense options to get Winnipeg’s attention.
Unless they get an offer that knocks their socks off, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for the Jets to part with Laine. But the Hurricanes can do just that, filling Winnipeg’s two greatest needs with a defenseman and Trocheck while throwing in a draft pick as a sweetener.