Jets get Monahan from Canadiens for draft picks

Sports

The Winnipeg Jets have traded for Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan, filling a vital hole in their lineup.

Montreal acquired a 2024 first-round draft pick and a 2027 conditional third-round pick from the Jets.

Monahan, 29, is an unrestricted free agent this summer. A former star center with the Calgary Flames, he turned his career around during his two years with the Canadiens, with 13 goals and 22 assists in 49 games this season.

Winnipeg had been seeking a center behind star Mark Scheifele, having traded Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Los Angeles Kings last summer. An NHL source confirmed that the Jets were hotly pursuing Calgary’s Elias Lindholm before being outbid by the Vancouver Canucks, who acquired him Wednesday.

Monahan and Lindholm were considered the top two UFA centers available ahead of March’s trade deadline.

“We had him on our radar list early on. [Monahan] is a great player and he’s got great character. He works really hard and is a true pro,” Jets coach Rick Bowness told ESPN. “We’re absolutely thrilled to get him, not only for his ability on the ice but just as important his ability to blend into the locker room and work with our players. He’ll be a really good Winnipeg Jet.”

Bowness said he expects Monahan to start on a line with Cole Perfetti and Nikolaj Ehlers.

The Jets (30-12-5) are third in the Central Division, two points behind first-place Colorado with two games in hand.

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