After the New York Islanders traded one in all their prospects for a direct improve, which of the NHL’s different Japanese Convention groups may do the identical?
Prospects are all the time a preferred type of foreign money on the NHL commerce deadline. They’re nearer to enjoying NHL video games than draft picks but nonetheless maintain the attract of being “magic beans” for any buying group.
On Friday, we checked out 10 prospects within the Western Convention who may issue right into a contender’s deal to amass the veteran participant that would put them excessive.
It is now time to take a look at 11 prospects and a first-rounder within the Japanese Convention who might pop up in commerce hypothesis as we transfer nearer to the commerce deadline. Some usually tend to transfer than others, however these gamers are merely choices ought to one in all these groups look to improve now.
Boston Bruins: Mason Lohrei and Brett Harrison
The Bruins have been the NHL’s greatest group so far within the season, however so many have deemed this season their “Final Dance” with captain Patrice Bergeron and longtime Bruin David Krejci in what may very well be their ultimate season. A lot of their core may very well be on the finish of the street in elite manufacturing.
With a prospect pool that’s as deep as a kiddie pool and a hesitancy to commerce Fabian Lysell, their prime prospect, the Bruins can be trying to discover assistance on the fringes by dangling their first-round decide and different lower-level prospects. Mason Lohrei and Brett Harrison are among the many gamers who may very well be on the transfer.
Lohrei is a defensive blueliner in his sophomore season at Ohio State College. He performs a bodily model of hockey and may very well be a prototypical future Bruin in the event that they maintain onto him. Harrison has the makings of a talented energy ahead, with good arms and a stable mix of measurement and energy. His skating has taken a step in the proper route, however extra work is required in that regard.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Nick Robertson and Topi Niemela
The Leafs must get out of the primary spherical this yr, they usually actually have a group that would do it. They appear set on maintaining Matthew Knies within the fold and can be hesitant to commerce their first-round decide after being burned previously. The obtrusive want on their present roster is a second-line left winger who can play with John Tavares and William Nylander. In the event that they wish to purchase one, they might have to maneuver one of many future items they hoped to carry onto.
Robertson has proven some offensive instruments, from a plus shot to a relentless motor. His skating isn’t as high-end as you’d hope from an undersized participant, however he may very well be an efficient scorer in the proper state of affairs.
One other participant they may look to make use of as bait is Finnish defender Topi Niemela. He’s excelled on the large stage, profitable defenseman of the event on the world juniors and flashing his puck-moving potential on the Liiga degree when given the chance. Niemela may very well be a sneaky add for a group trying so as to add a future power-play quarterback and second-pair defender.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Dylan Duke and Gage Goncalves
One other contender with out a lot within the pipeline, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been to the Stanley Cup ultimate three years in a row and can be trying to get there a fourth this spring.
Already pretty set of their first-round matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Lightning will look to repeat their first-round victory from final yr.
Dylan Duke is a tad undersized however battles on the web entrance with the most effective of them, showcasing his puck-deflecting abilities on the world juniors for the American squad in addition to throughout his two seasons on the College of Michigan. Duke isn’t probably the most fleet of foot however understands easy methods to get to tender areas and has a continuous work ethic.
Goncalves has been a gradual burn, however he’s began to determine his sport out on the AHL degree exterior of his goal-scoring. He has all the time had a very good shot, so seeing him diversify his assault patterns and use his passing sport extra is a welcome improvement. Goncalves may very well be one of many underrated gamers that appear to return out of nowhere with Tampa.
Carolina Hurricanes: Alexander Nikishin and Jackson Blake
If the Hurricanes wish to make a giant splash so as to add some offensive punch – an space they hoped Max Pacioretty would fill earlier than he re-injured his Achilles – they might have to maneuver a prospect of word. They’re one of many league’s greatest regular-season groups but once more, however they wish to take the following step and compete within the playoffs.
Alexander Nikishin may very well be their most attention-grabbing commerce chip because the younger Russian defender has all the time had a very good defensive sport framed round his physicality. However Nikishin has popped offensively this yr with 49 factors in 57 video games within the KHL. The Canes may look to promote excessive on the defender who has discovered his offensive contact after primarily working as a defensive presence so far.
At over a degree per sport on the NCAA degree with the College of North Dakota, Jackson Blake has been a scorching identify within the prospect world. He’s glorious within the small ice sport, profitable little battles and understanding easy methods to leverage his talent in tight. Blake might want to proceed getting stronger as he lacks significantly in that division, however he’s an intriguing mission.
New Jersey Devils: Alexander Holtz and Shakir Mukhamadullin
The Devils have grow to be one of the thrilling and proficient groups within the NHL, seemingly in a single day. They’re led by stars like Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier up entrance and John Marino and Dougie Hamilton on the again finish. They’ve had stable but unspectacular goaltending as effectively.
They may attempt to carry the momentum of a magical season by including a giant identify on the deadline (hiya, Timo Meier).
Alexander Holtz can be robust to pry from the Devils, although. There’s a future the place he and Hughes are a tandem that fills the again of the web with Hughes’ high-end driving and passing skill to match Holtz’s blistering shot. The younger Swede hasn’t been in a position to get there fairly but, so they may transfer him in the event that they wish to improve instantly.
Mukhamadullin is a giant, rangy defender who has the instruments and was a first-round decide a couple of years in the past. He has begun to ascertain himself as a authentic blueliner within the KHL this yr. Groups all the time desire a cellular, 6-foot-4 defender, which makes Mukhamadullin an intriguing commerce chip for New Jersey.
New York Rangers: Zac Jones and a First-Spherical Choose
The Rangers are able to win now. They went to the convention ultimate final yr on the again of goaltending famous person Igor Shesterkin. The group has improved this yr to assist Shesterkin, who hasn’t fairly been on the similar degree, though he’s nonetheless elite. They’ve some prospects, however their most intriguing piece may very well be one in all their two first-round picks.
With the Dallas Stars’ first-round draft selection so as to add to their very own within the cabinet, the Rangers may look to entice a rebuilding group to half with a key piece for the Rangers’ run. They may use assist up entrance as their younger blueline has developed into one of the spectacular within the league. The additional draft decide is a giant weapon on the deadline.
Zac Jones is a talented and good defender who can transfer the puck up ice in transition. He has been effervescent beneath the floor for the Rangers, moving into a couple of video games this yr, however he has but to crack the younger and proficient blueline group in New York. That would result in a willingness to maneuver Jones in a deal that bolsters the group up entrance.
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