Prospect Ramblings – Deadline Prospects – February 22, 2018

Pat Quinn

2018-02-22

Credit: Live 105 Halifax's Best Rock

 

Welcome again to the Thursday prospect ramblings.

 

No music this time as I thought I’d change things up a bit. Actually this week’s ramblings will not highlight my top five prospects in the Metro or Atlantic divisions. Instead I will focus on the prospects who teams should target (or move themselves) at the trade deadline, along with the ones they should not move.

 

Also if you have not checked out Hayden’s ramblings last Sunday, please go read it is worth it: https://dobberprospects.com/prospect-ramblings-are-we-actually-getting-better-at-scouting/

 

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Starting with the East:

 

Locks to make the playoffs (my opinion):

 

Tampa Bay, Boston, Toronto (wow the rest of the Atlantic is bad), Pittsburgh and Washington

 

Tampa Bay:

 

  • There are two thoughts with Tampa here:

 

  1. If the Bolts are attempting to get Erik Karlsson, since rumours persist and they have the cap ability to do so (along with a way to absorb Bobby Ryan’s deal… as in sending Callahan back), then the Bolts should send any prospects the Senators want (even Gourde, Point, or Sergachev)

 

  1. If the Bolts are looking to add depth for a playoff push the only untouchables should be the young players currently on the roster: Gourde, Point, or Sergachev. Also I would doubt the team would move Cal Foote as he was the team’s 2017 first round pick and they have money invest in his development. Slim chance they move on from 2016 first round pick Brett Howden as well, but the chance is greater than the team moving Foote

 

 

Boston

 

  • Keep: Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy, Danton Heinen, and Urho Vaakanainen

 

 

  • Likely to be moved for the right upgrade: Jakub Zboril, Zach Senyshyn, Peter Cehlárik, Trent Frederic, Noel Acciari, Cameron Hughes, and Ryan Donato. They also will likely be more inclined to also move picks, as seen in the recent Nick Holden deal

 

  • There is an outside shot someone trades for the rights to Alexander Khokhlachev, currently just under a point per game in the AHL

 

 

Toronto

 

  • The only player I see as off limits to a rental move is Timothy Liljegren as the Leafs have tremendous depth on the wing, and good enough depth on defense to make moves. The problem for the team lies in scoring centres if Matthews or Kadri go down, because can Babcock trust Miro Aaltonen enough to play him or will move Nylander to centre. The team also has picks they can ship out if needed for the right deal

 

  • Young players on the Leafs’ roster are also highly unlikely to be moved: Travis Dermott, Andreas Borgman, and Kasperi Kapanen. All other players I believe could be moved

 

Pittsburgh

 

  • I don’t think this team cares about prospect depth as they want to go for a three-peat at all costs. Yes, somehow Pittsburgh management thought a first round pick for Ryan FREAKING Reaves would help in that regard.

 

  • The Pens should keep all of Daniel Sprong, Tristan Jarry, Zach Aston-Reese, and Dominik Simon. I get the suspicion one of Sprong or Aston-Reese would be moved if it meant the Pens could fill that third line centre hole they have been trying to address.

 

Washington

 

  • After recently trading a third round pick for Michael Kempny I do not see the Capitals moving any other assets (Except a fifth for Jerback apparently) as they need to replenish the cupboard, as GM MacLellan went on record saying they want/need to draft in the higher rounds in the upcoming drafts.

 

  • Possibly players to be moved Travis Boyd and Connor Hobbs. Boyd will be pushing to play in the NHL next season (he likely already should be getting a chance) but the Capitals are deep up front and Trotz prefers grinders to scorers. Hobbs is included because he may be ready at the same time as Lucas Johansen and Jonas Siegenthaler who both play safer games.

 

Prospects who could see a better opportunity with a move to a new team:

 

  • Any of Anthony Cirelli, Taylor Raddysh, Mathieu Joseph, Adam Erne, and Boris Katchouk from Tampa as Tampa will stay deep up front for a long time and these players may never get the crack at the roster that they could on another club

 

  • Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson is getting passed by quite a few Bruins forwards and may benefit from a change in scenery. Same goes for Jakub Zboril but on the back end. Alexander Khokhlachev is a wild card because IF he comes over, he can help whichever team has his rights

 

  • Any one of the Toronto wingers who are stuck back on the depth chart will see a chance to produce in another market, and there is less chance they get (current player) Josh Leivo’d for a season. Notably: Jeremy Bracco, Andreas Johnson, Dmytro Timashov, and Miro Aaltonen (C/W)

 

Wild Card teams (as in they may be in or out at the end of the day) and what prospects may move

 

  • Philadelphia – After acquiring Mrazek for cheap this team should sit out the trade deadline if it means moving top prospects, but if they think they can get it with improvements on picks they should do it. Otherwise I think they would move Mike Vecchione or Robert Hagg, and both players would see a better opportunity on another team.

 

  • New Jersey – As a Devils fan I do not think this team should move out any prospects or picks as Uncle Lou left the cupboard bare. If they did shed a prospect for an upgrade I could see John Quenneville moved as he seems to only be spinning tires on the Devils and a fresh start could just be what the doctor orders.

 

  • Columbus – Sonny Milano is the likely candidate to move from CBJ (I know he is currently hurt) as he seems to have fallen out of favour with the coaches and management.

 

  • Carolina – This team needs scoring and better goaltending. They should NOT move Martin Necas but any other top prospect for an improvement up front or in net should be done.

 

  • New York Islanders – The team currently in the worst position as Tavares may leave so they need to keep the two first round picks they have, and those could be used for upgrades up front or on defense. The team cannot really afford to lose any current or future depth if Tavares leaves as they’ll need all the help they can get.

 

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The West

 

Locks to make the playoffs (my opinion):

 

Nashville, Winnipeg, and Las Vegas. The central has four other teams who could occupy three spots or just one, and the Pacific has four teams that could occupy four slots or two.

 

Nashville

 

  • Keep: Eeli Tolvanen (duh, rumoured to be joining the team late in the season too), Juuse Saros, Dante Fabbro, and Kevin Fiala

 

  • The rest of Nashville’s prospects all appear to be in the mid-level of prospects, as in no one is bad but also no one else is great. I can see them moving Pontus Aberg, which should be a boost to him as coach Laviolette does not appear to trust him at all

 

 

Winnipeg

 

 

  • I get this feeling that under the right circumstances a team could get Jack Roslovic or Eric Comrie from the Jets, but the player the Jets get would likely have to be signed to a longer term. Also I feel this team values Logan Stanley pretty high so I doubt they move him

 

  • Likely gone: Michael Spacek, Nic Petan, Brendan Lemieux, Marko Dano, Jansen Harkins, J.C. Lipon, Tucker Poolman, and Dylan Samberg. This team also has a first round pick it could part with

 

Las Vegas

 

  • This team is in a tough spot as they have expiring contracts for UFA’s and not much prospect depth. A majority of prospects they have they should not part with as they need a future to come in and play, and with that they need all the picks they can get

 

  • No chance they move Nick Suzuki, Cody Glass, Erik Brannstrom, Nicolas Hague, Brendan Leipsic, Reid Duke (first ever player), and Oscar Dansk

 

  • The wildcard move that I think Vegas should look at is moving the rights to Nikita Gusev (with a later pick) for an upgrade, as there is no chance this management group can sign him

 

 

Prospects who could see a better opportunity with a move to a new team:

 

  • My number one here would be Nikita Gusev (if he comes over) as the team acquiring him can get a 60+ point guy, but if he stays on Vegas he will never come over. He will likely come over to the NHL when he can sign as a UFA though

 

  • Pontus Aberg could be a very solid get for a team that needs winger scoring depth. The skill and drive is there he just needs consistent opportunity

 

  • A really underrated get for a team will be Tucker Poolman if he is dealt, and a new team would provide a great opportunity for him. If the Jets have to move Trouba in the off season they may not move Poolman at the deadline

 

Wild Card teams (as in they may be in or out at the end of the day) and what prospects may move

 

  • Dallas – As long as the Stars keep Miro Heiskanen, Julius Honka, and Jake Oettinger they can part with any number of prospects. They will likely keep Nichushkin as well but he could be an interesting trade chip. Denis Gurianov has not done much in the AHL so far but if he is moved to a new team he may turn the corner production wise

 

  • St. Louis – This team is loaded with prospects and can move on from any of them and be fine. Due to recent performances I cannot see them moving Klim Kostin or Robert Thomas. Honestly this team has room to add some of their top prospects and put them into positions to succeed, and if another team acquires one the player will succeed there as well. Jordan Schmaltz is the likeliest candidate to go and his value will increase once he is moved.

 

  • San Jose – The Sharks need to keep their picks and prospects, and in my opinion should move players if they can. They really need to re-stock. I can’t see any prospects they would move having any value.

 

  • LA – The Kings also cannot afford to move out any potential future skill for their line up as the team outlook is bleak. They are turning it around but more picks are needed. If he Kings move Mike Amadio he could have a nice boost for another team that wouldn’t use him on the fourth line.

 

  • Anaheim – I think this team is going to make the playoffs and will be a dark horse to go far (of course this depends on team health). The team has good players at forward and defense, but if I was them I would move one of their veteran defensemen for a future pick/prospect. The Ducks are a team that is great at roster turn over, and if a young guy earns a spot they usually give it to them. I could see Sam Steel or Max Jones producing quicker on another team, but I expect a budget team like the Ducks to hold all the good young assets they have.

 

  • Calgary – The Flames only have a 2019 first and a 2018 third for top three picks in these next two years, they cannot afford to give up any more picks. I can see the Flames making a big move up front and moving one of their prized defenseman Rasmus Andersson (very unlikely), Oliver Kylington, or Adam Fox. If one of those three are moved (potentially also Juuso Valimaki) they will have a better opportunity to produce on a new team that does not have a top five locked in until the 2020 season.

 

  • Colorado – The Avalanche are in a spot where they really should feel lucky to be this close to the playoffs, meaning if you make it into the playoffs good if not that is fine. No reason for this team to move any picks or prospects as they are close but not a playoff contending team.

 

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Thanks for reading.

 

You can follow me on Twitter here @FHPQuinn, my goal is 700,000,000 followers and I am only 699,999,837 away