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Jets pick up Senators' defenceman Dylan DeMelo
Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki (74) celebrates his goal with teammate Dylan DeMelo (2) during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in Buffalo, N.Y. (Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP Photo)
WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets have picked up the Ottawa Senators’ defenceman Dylan DeMelo, after placing current defenceman Luca Sbisa on injured reserve.
The Jets announced the new player on Tuesday, adding they acquired DeMelo in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
"Being traded to Winnipeg, I'm very excited for the opportunity. I think it's a good fit for me, I hope to be a guy they can rely on the backend," DeMelo told reporters on Tuesday.
"I know they've needed some help, you know, losing Trouba and Byfuglien. I just hope to be a seamless fit there and help this team push for the playoffs."
So far this season, the 26-year-old defenceman has played 49 games with the Senators, netting 10 assists and 31 penalty minutes.
During his hockey career, which began in the OJHL in 2009 with the Mississauga Chargers, DeMelo has played 259 career games with the Senators and the San Jose Sharks. He has 64 points and 125 PIMs.
He was the Sharks sixth round pick and 179th overall in the 2011 NHL draft.
Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said he believes the 26-year-old will fit nicely into the locker room, and admits DeMelo is a player the team has had their eye on since his involvement in the Erik Karlsson trade from San Jose to Ottawa in 2018.
"We've really liked his progression over the course of time, to what he's become, his growth as a player and his development over those years," Cheveldayoff said.
DeMelo is scheduled to join the team when they fly out to Ottawa on Wednesday, and will likely get into the lineup to play his former team on Thursday night.
The trade comes as Luca Sbisa is placed on injured reserve with an upper body injury. Sami Niku will draw back in against the kings.
"We'll find the silver lining in this. Because it's the way you've operated now since season's start, there really isn't a big change," said Paul Maurice.
Up front, Mark Scheifele hasn't scored a goal in 11 games, and has just six assists in that span. He said there's no frustration about his lengthiest goal drought of the season.
"That's the way the game works," Scheifele said. "It's not an easy league to score in, and it's not about the goals or assists. It's about getting the team a win. For me it's about doing the right things and that'll take care of itself."
As for the trade deadline, Cheveldayoff said they still have the cap space and are looking at different opportunities.
He added they've thought about hockey deals rather than trading for rental players, and potentially looking at adding a forward, though they're being mindful of what it costs to acquire talent at this time of year.
-with files from CTV's Danton Unger