Wild trade Setoguchi to Jets for draft pick
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP)
The deal, completed Friday during a flurry of free-agent signings, gives the Jets another player in their group of top-six forwards.
''We're thankful that as the day went on, the trade possibility reignited, or at least maybe went from a smolder to something that was live,'' Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said.
Cheveldayoff said recently one of his top priorities was to improve at right wing. He started by acquiring Michael Frolik from Stanley Cup champion Chicago last week at the NHL draft.
Now he has added the 26-year-old Setoguchi, who had 13 goals and 14 assists last season with Minnesota.
''The opportunities are there on the right side for both of those players to grasp and to help us grow,'' Cheveldayoff said. ''But we feel we're a much better team today than we were entering the NHL entry draft with the two players that we just acquired.''
Setoguchi had a career-high 65 points in the 2008-09 season while he was with the San Jose Sharks. He hasn't come close to that total since.
However, Cheveldayoff chalked up Setoguchi's decreased stats last season to his being forced into a smaller role.
''He'll have a very good opportunity for a role to be a prolific offensive player for us,'' Cheveldayoff said. ''The future is all left to be written.''