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Jets lose Mason Appleton to Seattle in expansion draft

July 22, 2021, 10:59 AM ET [177 Comments]
Anthony Travalgia
Winnipeg Jets Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
When the Jets decided to protect Logan Stanley over Dylan DeMelo, it certainly felt like the latter had played his last game in Winnipeg.

But as parts of the Kraken’s expansion draft choices started to leak throughout the day Wednesday on Twitter (have a day Frank Seravalli), then made official later that evening, it was the Kraken selecting forward Mason Appleton over DeMelo.

Of course, losing Appleton won’t have people flocking the streets of Winnipeg to celebrate, but losing DeMelo on a blueline that certainly needs a facelift for 2021-22 would have been a bigger hit.

Appleton is coming off a season that saw him reach career highs in goals, (12) assists (13) and points (25).

The 25-year-old saw an up tick of ice time on the penalty kill last season, averaging nearly a minute of PK time per game at 56 seconds, fifth among Jets’ forwards.

Under contract for one more season at $900K before hitting restricted free agency, Appleton checks a lot of boxes as he travels south of the border to Seattle.

The Jets have solid bottom-six options and better depth at forward than they do on the blueline. Replacing Appleton and his production is a much easier task than it would be had the Kraken selected DeMelo.

General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff rolled the dice in deciding to not compensate the Kraken to stay away from DeMelo, a smart move given the reported asking price of a 1st and 3rd round pick.

He also rolled the dice by deciding to protect Stanley over DeMelo, likely knowing the Kraken would have much more interest in Stanley than DeMelo.

While it’s hard to take a victory lap after losing a player like Appleton, coming out of the expansion draft with both Stanley and DeMelo must make Cheveldayoff feel like he’s rolled all sevens, doing so without moving any secondary assets.

With the trade freeze lifted Thursday afternoon, and free agency quickly approaching, the Jets will certainly be looking to add to their blueline.

But now, with DeMelo still in Winnipeg, the need is suddenly a little less drastic than it could have been had the Kraken took DeMelo over Appleton.
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