With the Habs expected to sell before the upcoming trade deadline, some of St. John’s forwards could be on the move to Montreal. Could some of them be on the move to other organizations as well?
Please note that all odds are independent of each other. Players on minor league deals are not given odds even though they could be dealt in an AHL trade. While Lucas Lessio and Jacob de la Rose are both currently up with Montreal, they have been AHL’ers pretty much all season long so they appear here instead.
John Scott: 35% – At first glance, this might seem way too high considering he cleared waivers and is on an AHL fourth line. I don’t think he’s in Montreal’s plans at all this season so I can’t help but wonder if Marc Bergevin will try to move him where he can at least be closer to his home and newborn twins. An AHL loan is another possibility to accomplish the same objective – try to do right by Scott and free up a roster spot for someone they’re more interested in actually playing.
Jacob de la Rose: 15% – It’s safe to assume that de la Rose has a place on the Canadiens’ roster in the not-too-distant future. However, it seems likely that it will be in a fourth line type of role. Players who have that type of ceiling typically aren’t worth much unless they’re still young and another team thinks there’s more upside. If there are teams out there who think that, this may very well be the best time to move him.
Michael Bournival: 15% – Two years ago, he was seen as a piece of the long-term puzzle. But concussions and other injuries later, he is a depth player when healthy with the IceCaps. Contending teams are often interested in adding players with NHL experience to their farm teams at this time of year and I’m not overly confident that Bournival will be qualified in the offseason given the injury risks. It’s a minimal market but if Bergevin values a late round pick over using Bournival with St. John’s down the stretch, there may be a deal to be made.
Jeremy Gregoire: 15% – It hasn’t been a great rookie season for Gregoire. Instead of being someone whose style of play suggested he could move quickly, he’s looking more like a long-term project. I don’t think the Habs are thinking about giving up on him but he’s the type of prospect that can be comfortably added on to a deal if Bergevin goes after someone who can help the Canadiens in the longer-term.
Tim Bozon: 10% – His first pro season hasn’t exactly gone swimmingly well. He has yet to score with St. John’s (in 17 games) while he has been hit or miss at times with Brampton of the ECHL. Bozon has been better lately which is a bit of cause for optimism at least. That said, he’s not looking like a piece of the future either; I’d suggest that management would be more inclined to deal him now compared to a few years ago.
Max Friberg: 10% – He hasn’t exactly lit the lamp since coming over from Anaheim and has another year left on his contract. If Bergevin values contract flexibility for the upcoming offseason, Friberg could be shopped around for someone on an expiring deal.
Lucas Lessio: 10% – There could be some openings for depth players on the Habs moving forward (both this season and beyond) and Lessio is likely going to be in the mix for one of those spots so I don’t see them shopping Lessio around much. But, as his ceiling is arguably a fourth liner (which aren’t hard to replace), he’s easily movable if other teams have interest.
Mark MacMillan: 5% – MacMillan has made some nice strides since the beginning of the season. That said, he’s a 24 year old depth player in the minors. No one will be showing any sort of serious interest in him until he becomes more of an impact player. That probably isn’t going to happen in the next week and a half.
Connor Crisp: 5% – Whatever his injury is, it has cost him a lot more time than originally anticipated (there were reports he could be back just after Christmas). It’s another wasted season of development for a prospect with a low ceiling. The only way I see him being traded is if Bergevin opts to use him to match the number of contracts being exchanged in a multi-player deal.
Bud Holloway: 5% – Considering he had just the one brief call-up, it would appear Montreal’s management doesn’t think he has any NHL potential. Given that Holloway cleared waivers in training camp, other teams didn’t think he had much then and while he has been St. John’s top scorer, I don’t think his play down there has other teams thinking he’s capable of helping out their NHL teams. He’s worth much more to the IceCaps than he what he’d fetch in a trade.
Gabriel Dumont: 5% – He has been a great player for St. John’s and quite honestly is worthy of a call-up. However, he’s an undersized fourth liner who is older than most AHL’ers and has cleared waivers. There is no real trade market for Dumont and even if there was, he’d be worth more to the IceCaps than whatever late round pick or future considerations they’d get for him.
Charles Hudon: 5% – Hudon is once again in the midst of a strong AHL campaign and his play has been worthy of getting some more NHL time beyond the two games he already has played. Like Lessio, Hudon is likely going to be in the mix for a bottom six spot as soon as the beginning of March (or next season); he’s someone viewed as part of the future which means he’s probably not getting dealt right now.
Nikita Scherbak: 2% – As much as his year has been a disappointment, it’s not as if his development has really slowed when you consider that he’ll still have his three ELC years left after this (yes, he’s eligible for a contract slide). Scherbak may take longer than some might have hoped for but he still reasonably projects as a top six guy down the road. Those players rarely get dealt unless it’s for another one of those types of players and unless he’s part of a Jonathan Drouin deal, I don’t think he goes anywhere.
Michael McCarron: 1% – While I would suggest his offensive outburst early on was an aberration and not a sign of things to come, McCarron is still pegged as a big part of the future. His combination of size and skill is something that no other player in the organization has which makes him about as much an untouchable as there can be for a prospect. It would take a blockbuster trade for him to move right now and while Bergevin may be busy between now and the 29th, it probably won’t be in the form of major trades.
AHL Contracts: Markus Eisenschmid, Brandon McNally, Angelo Miceli – Eisenschmid is someone to watch to see if he gets an NHL deal next offseason while the other two are depth guys that wouldn’t carry any weight in an AHL trade.
Right now, the immediate need for this team is to get healthy. Whether it’s their own players coming back from injury or the ones currently with the Habs replacing injured players there, St. John’s is missing a lot of players up front right now.
Strictly speaking from the perspective of the IceCaps, the best thing that could happen for them (aside from being healthy for a change) is that the Habs take back players in any of the selling moves they make – either as direct replacements for the ones that were dealt or to replace whoever gets called up to fill that spot. The more quality depth they have down the stretch for their playoff push, the better.
Beyond that, they need help scoring goals. Whether that comes from players like Lessio getting sent back down and players like Hudon and McCarron staying in St. John’s past the deadline or by acquiring help in a trade doesn’t much matter. But if they’re going to make a run, this team can’t be pillaged by the big club to fill any holes after the trade deadline.