Breaking Down Each Winnipeg Jets Trade from Trade Deadline 2022

Ottawa Senators, Zach Sanford (13). Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Ottawa Senators, Zach Sanford (13). Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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Winnipeg Jets
United States, Nathan Smith (13). Mandatory Credit: George Walker IV-USA TODAY Sports /

Jets Move Bryan Little’s Contract and Nathan Smith’s Signing Rights to the Coyotes

Bryan Little has not played an NHL game since he suffered a horrific injury on November 5, 2019, against the New Jersey Devils when he took a slap shot to the side of his head. Little suffered a perforated eardrum and has been out since.

Little has been on the Jets’ long-term injured reserve and his contract has an AAV of $5,291,667 and expires at the end of the 2023-2024 season.

The Jets decided to move Little to the Coyotes, alongside top prospect Nathan Smith in exchange for a 2022 fourth-round pick.

Some people were surprised to see Smith included in this deal. Smith is a Jets 2018 draft choice and currently plays for the Minnesota State Mavericks.

The prospect forward has had an outstanding Junior year season. He is currently a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Trophy that is given to the top collegiate hockey player and he played in the Olympics for the United States.

Since Smith has not yet signed a professional contract, the Coyotes are receiving his signing rights which expire during this offseason. Darren Dreger reported that Smith would not be singing with the Jets. If the Coyotes do not sign Smith when his rights expire, he will become a free agent.

It will be interesting to see if Smith returns for his senior season and then tests free agency after his collegiate career is over.