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Winnipeg Jets acquire center Sean Monahan in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens

Sean Monahan

Jan 10, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Montreal Canadiens center Sean Monahan (91) against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Hartline/Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

TORONTO — The Winnipeg Jets acquired Sean Monahan in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens, giving one of the top Stanley Cup contenders in the Western Conference more depth at center for a potential playoff run.

Winnipeg sent its 2024 first-round pick and a conditional third-rounder in 2027 to Montreal for the pending free agent.

Acquiring Monahan gives the Jets an elite one-two punch down the middle, after Mark Scheifele. With captain Adam Lowry and Vladislav Namestnikov already on the roster, the Jets look to have the centers to compete with anyone in the NHL.

It fills an important need because the Jets have struggled since Scheifele suffered an lower-body injury. After being atop the league in mid-January, they’ve lost four of six games without Schefiele, whose return date is unknown.

Enter Monahan, a 29-year-old veteran of 760 regular-season and playoff games over 11 seasons in the league with Calgary and Montreal. He has 35 points in 49 games this season with the rebuilding Canadiens.