Prospect Ramblings: Open Roster Spots for Prospects – Atlantic Division

Pat Quinn

2020-11-18

 

 

Welcome to the Thursday Prospect Ramblings. This week I am going to go through the contract situations of teams in the Atlantic to see how many openings they have, where they have openings, and what prospect is most likely to take that spot. I am still assuming the rosters are “as is”, and are how the highlighted teams will start the 2020-2021 season.

 

Here was last week’s look at the Central and here is the Pacific from two weeks prior.

 

Also, my #GoodTweet of the week:

Actually I have no good tweet for this week, instead I hope you are paying attention to the 31-in-31 series so far, check it out HERE

 

 

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ATLANTIC

 

Boston Bruins

 

Forward:

  • 12 one-way contracts; 11 over $1M and one under
    • Jake DeBrusk will be one way once signed (or traded if you believe the rumours)
  • Guaranteed Candidates:
    • Greg McKegg; On a two-way deal and will be called up to fill a bottom line, penalty kill, and 13th forward spot
    • Anton Blidh; Has been up and down since 2016-2017 and would have likely made the 2019-2020 roster if not for a shoulder injury that cut a majority of his season
    • Karson Kuhlman; Has played more in the NHL than Blidh, including playing well with Krejci and DeBrusk, his 2020-2021 contract is also one-way
  • There are no real open spots for other prospects unless the Bruins go through Columbus Blue Jackets levels of injuries

 

Defense:

  • Nine one-way contracts; six at $1M or more and three under $1M
    • Everyone thinks Chara will re-sign with the Bruins
    • Kevan Miller should play, but his injury is a strange one so hopefully it is 100% fixed
    • Steven Kampfer is one-way but plays predominately in the AHL
    • Jakub Zboril signed a two-year deal at $$725k per that is one way each year
  • There are really no spots open here either, and it is even unknown if Chara will come back (which would look so weird)

 

Goalie:

  • Rask and Halak are both signed for 2020-2021, and if the Bruins trade Rask they are crazy
  • With a condensed season, injuries will likely occur so the Likely Candidate would be:
    • Daniel Vladar; His 2022-2023 season, the final year of his deal, is one way so he will likely get a few call ups
  • I except the Bruins to sign some goaltending depth as Jeremy Swayman and Kyle Keyser are not ready, and Callum Booth really does no inspire confidence

 

 

Buffalo Sabres

 

Forward:

  • 14 one-way contracts; 10 over $1M and four under $1M
    • Jean-Sebastien Dea and C.J. Smith are both signed to contracts at $700K, and should be in the AHL. They would be called up for a fourth line role
    • Casey Mirrelstadt is currently unsigned so he should see a one-way contract, but he can also be put freely through waivers for at least one more season
  • There is probably one spot open
  • Likely Candidates:
    • Dylan Cozens; The Sabres really need a 2C and if Cozens is ready it will be his
    • Rasmus Asplund; Older and more complete. He should have a shot in the middle six

 

Defense:

  • Five one-way contracts; Four over $2.5M and one under $1M
    • Rasmus Dahlin and Henri Jokiharju are both on the last year of their ELC’s
    • Matt Irwin was signed at $700K and should fill the #6/#7 defense role
  • No real spots are open but if injuries occur the Likely Candidates are Casey Nelson and Brandon Davidson. Though the Sabres will likely add more depth eventually

 

Goalie:

  • Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark are signed for 2020-2021. I am a believer in Ullmark
  • Injuries will likely occur so the Likely Candidate to play is:
    • Jonas Johansson; He really should be the back up as Hutton played awful last season

 

 

Detroit Red Wings

 

Forward:

  • 12 one-way contracts; 10 at $1M or over and two below $1M
    • Dmytro Timashov is unsigned as will possibly also get a one-way deal. I am a fan so hopefully he can make it
    • Five UFAs
  • One spot open, but likely not by much as the Guaranteed Candidate will be: Filip Zadina
  • There is a chance Lucas Raymond can play as well but I am betting on him staying in the SHL
  • The current Red Wings roster seems like a “get first overall” roster and sell assets, though I expect them to keep Sam Gagner, so Likely Candidates for later in the season include:
  • Dark Horse Candidate:
    • Joe Veleno; I am assuming the Wings will keep him out of the NHL for the year (possibly a few call ups) and give him a roster shot in 2021-2022
  • Someone I hope gets a chance: Riley Barber

 

Defense:

  • Six one-way contracts; four over $1.5M and two below $1M
    • Four UFAs as they are all likely place holders, except maybe for Patrik Nemeth
    • Filip Hronek is on a two-way contract and the Wings’ best defenseman
  • No real spots to start but spots will open as assets (and I use that term loosely with Detroit UFA defensemen) get shipped out
  • Likely Candidates:
    • Dennis Cholowski; On the last year of his ELC but has seemingly regressed since 2018-2019
    • Moritz Seider; Keeps making everyone look silly for not having him ranked as high
    • Joe Hicketts; He is more of an AHL defenseman as of now but there is always a chance
  • Dark Horse Candidate:
    • Jared McIsaac; The Wings will likely keep him in the AHL as long as possible since the 2020-2021 Wings will be bad

 

Goalie:

  • Griess and Bernier are both signed to take the brunt of the punishment
  • Calvin Pickard has a one-way deal and may surprise if given a chance

 

 

Florida Panthers

 

Forward:

  • 10 one-way contracts; nine are $1M or above
    • Aleksi Saarela and Henrik Borgstrom are currently RFAs, and while I assume Saarela will get a one-way shot I have no idea what they will do with Borgstrom
  • One to three open spots
  • Likely Candidates:
    • Grigori Denisenko; He may need some AHL time first but he could play in the NHL sooner than later
    • Owen Tippett; One of the rare young Panthers forwards to excel in the AHL
    • Eetu Luostarinen; Traded from the Hurricanes in 2019-2020, could fill a bottom six spot
    • Aleksi Heponiemi; One of the many forwards that did not do well in the Panthers’ AHL squad in 2019-2020, but is doing very well right now in the HockeyAllsvenskan. He likely needs another AHL season
  • Dark Horse Candidate:

 

Defense:

  • Six one-way contracts; All are at or above $2.5M
  • Riley Stillman is on the final year of his ELC and should make the roster, but may yo-yo for this upcoming season
  • No real spots open, but an injury coverage Likely Candidate is:

 

Goalie:

  • Bobrovsky is signed forever (or until 2025-2026, whichever comes first) to be the starter
  • Chris Driedger and Sam Montembault (when he signs) will battle for the back up spot

 

 

Montreal Canadiens

 

Forward:

  • 10 one-way contracts; All over $1M
    • Nick Suzuki (last year) and Jerper Kotkaniemi (year two) are both still on their ELCs
    • Charles Hudon is an RFA and will still not be given a chance to stay in the line up under Julien
  • One or two spots are open
  • Likely Candidates:
    • Ryan Peohling; Was up and down in 2019-2020 but he should start
    • Jake Evans; Two-way in 2020-2021 and one-way in 2021-2022, so except the same up and down treatment for the upcoming season

 

Defense:

  • Six one-way contracts; Five over $1.5M and one under $1M
  • None are UFAs and Mete is a RFA in 2021
  • Super prospect Alexander Romanov is on his ELC
  • No real spots are open as Bergevin filled a spot with Edmundson for some reason but there is still young players who could play on the roster, including Likely Candidates:
    • Noah Juulsen; I hope he is good to go
    • Cale Fleury; Looked good in the NHL
    • Xavier Ouellett; Has played in the NHL before

 

Goalie:

  • Price and Allen are signed until 2023-2024 because…..
  • No real spot open for the foreseeable future despite Montreal having Cayden Primeau

 

 

Ottawa Senators

 

Forward:

  • Eight one-way contracts: all eight over $1M
    • Two UFAs, Anisomov will be wanted by teams at the trade deadline and Galchenyuk can hopefully find what he lost or he will be out of the NHL
  • Brady Tkachuk is on the last year of his ELC
  • Three to five spots are open
  • Likely Candidates:
    • Tim Stuetzle; The top draft pick for the Sens has a legit shot to join the roster and immediately produce
    • Drake Batherson; Up and down the past two seasons, needs to put up scoring in the NHL and not just the AHL
    • Josh Norris; Played very well in the AHL last season
    • Rudolfs Balcers; Should pick up a middle six spot
    • Filip Chlapik; Was up and down all year in 2019-2020, should stay in the NHL but may get more of the same treatment
    • Vitaly Abramov; I hope he makes the NHL but he may need just a bit more AHL time
    • Alex Formenton; Plays very well in the AHL, he will need a roster spot soon
    • Logan Brown; Something seems off between him and Ottawa, or the organization just does not trust him. I just feel as though a split is coming

 

Defense:

  • Six one-way contracts; Five over $1M and one under $1M
  • One to three spots should be open as two players are UFAs
  • Guaranteed Candidate:
  • Likely Candidates:
    • Artem Zub; Signed from overseas should play in the NHL
    • Maxime Lajoie; Played a bunch for the Senators in 2019-2020 and should still play in 2020-2021
  • Dark Horse Candidate:
    • Lassi Thomson; Should be able to step in to that defense core but it may be best to keep him away until 2021-2022
    • Jake Sanderson; There is no need to rush him and he should not play in the NHL yet
    • Jacob Bernard-Docker; A very good player, likely better in real life over fantasy due to Chabot and Brannstrom being ahead of him

 

Goalies:

  • Matt Murray (who signed for more money than Robin Lehner somehow) and Anders Nilsson are signed for 2019-2020
  • Marcus Hogberg has a one-way contract
  • There really is no room but the Senators also have Filip Gustavsson and Joey Daccord in the minors too

 

 

Tampa Bay Lightning

 

Forward:

  • 12 one-way contracts; nine over $1M and three under $1M
  • Anthony Cirelli is a RFA and will be on the roster
  • Matthieu Joseph and Alexander Volkov are RFAs as well, and they are highly likely to be on the roster once Tampa sheds some salary
  • Dark Horse Candidate:
    • Alex Barre-Boulet; Keeps producing in the AHL and the Lighting will need scoring depth soon

 

Defense:

  • Four one-way contracts; three over $1M and one under $1M
    • Schenn and Coburn are both UFAs in 2021
  • Erik Cernak and Mikhail Sergachev are both RFAs and will be signed before the season starts. If “offer sheets” were real then Tampa would be in trouble
  • One to two spots open (outside of an UFA signing)
  • Likely Candidates:
    • Andreas Borgman; Can play on the bottom pairing
    • Cal Foote; Top (only) defense prospect for the Lightning should make the roster

 

Goalie:

  • Vasilvevskiy and McElhinney are signed for 2020-2021, and there seemingly is no other plan in net

 

 

Toronto Maple Leafs

 

Forward:

  • 17 one-way contracts; Nine over $1M and eight under $1M
    • Speaking of no room, players under $1M include: Jimmy Vesey, Spezza, Thornton, Travis Boyd, Nicolas Petan, Kenny Agostino, Kalle Kossila, and Denis Malgin
  • Nicolas Robertson is somehow still on year one of his ELC
  • Prospects that could make the roster, between Likely and Darkhorse Candidate:
  • No idea how to predict this roster will all of the players and contracts

 

Defense:

  • Eight one-way contracts; five at $1M or more
  • Mikko Lehtonen should be on t he NHL roster
  • Rasmus Sandin may have to spend another year in the AHL, along with Timothy Liljegren
  • Calle Rosen and Martin Marincin are both under $1M and likely on the roster

 

Goalies:

  • Andersen, Campbell and Dell all signed for 2020-2021

 

 

*************

 

Thanks for reading, follow me on twitter (I do not Fleet) at: @FHPQuinn

 

 

 

 

 

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