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Justin Barron: his name raised in Winnipeg in the Rutger McGroarty case
Credit: Getty Images

Rutger McGroarty’s name has been in the news since last week.

The American prospect would like to be traded since he doesn’t want to play in Winnipeg, and we can expect him to change addresses between now and the draft.

McGroarty is a 6’1′, 200-pound forward who stands out because of his offensive talent. He did well last season in the NCAA (52 points in 36 games), and we’re talking about the Habs in his case because Kent Hughes has what it takes to dance with Kevin Cheveldayoff (GM ).

Even in Winnipeg, people are wondering whether the Habs might be in the running to acquire the 20-year-old’s services.

In fact, Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun recently wrote about the possibility…

Because he wonders whether a guy like Justin Barron might be of interest to the Jets.

Justin’s brother, Morgan, plays in Winnipeg:

Obviously, we agree that it would take more than that to get McGroarty out of Winnipeg.

The player may want to be traded… but the Jets aren’t going to give him away either.

But where it makes some sense is when you look at the Jets’ defense and prospect bank.

Among the right-handed defensemen under contract with the organization are Dylan DeMelo, who just signed a new deal, Neal Pionk, who will be free as a bird next summer, Tyler Bauer, an AHL player, Elias Salomonsson, a fine prospect who hasn’t played a game in North America…

And that’s it.

The Jets have a need at this position, and even if Justin Barron hasn’t yet been able to establish himself as an impact defender in the National League, we’re still talking about a nice project because he’s still young at 22.

After all, he’s already got NHL experience and could have a role in the lineup as early as next year.

On paper, it makes sense.

But the Jets want immediate help because the window of opportunity is still open, and that’s perhaps where it could put the brakes on talks between Hughes and Cheveldayoff.

The idea is interesting, at least.


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