There has been plenty of speculation about who the Habs could trade leading up to the trade deadline at the end of the month. Sven Andrighetto hasn’t been mentioned often but he very well could be on the move.
In his various stints with the Habs over the past two seasons, Andrighetto has picked up six goals and two assists in 33 games (plus a pair of shootout winners this year). There have been times where he has shown flashes of possibly being a top six forward down the road and others where he looks more like a filler player than anything else.
For a young player, that’s normal; there are going to be ups and downs along the way. However, Andrighetto is quickly approaching the expiration of his waiver exemption (he has to clear waivers next season) and as we’ve all seen this season, a player on the fringes of a roster doesn’t bring back any sort of noteworthy return. Jarred Tinordi went for a defender who cleared waivers (which Montreal viewed as an asset) while Christian Thomas went for Lucas Lessio (another player in this same situation no less). Being undersized like Andrighetto is certainly doesn’t help his value either.
That’s what makes these next few weeks leading up to the deadline that much more important. The Habs have to find out whether or not Andrighetto can realistically be part of the plans moving forward.
Michel Therrien isn’t one to put players from the minors into bigger roles but that’s something that needs to be done with Andrighetto. The Canadiens need to showcase him – not only to the rest of the league but themselves as well. Is he part of the long-term plans? I don’t think anyone really knows right now. They need to find out soon.
Obviously if he plays well, GM Marc Bergevin will be more inclined to hold on him while if he struggles, he’ll be more willing to trade Andrighetto. The trickier question is what should they do if he keeps up with the on again/off again efforts we’ve seen from him?
If it were up to me, I’d strongly look at trading him unless he takes a big step forward in the next few weeks. I’ve long thought Andrighetto’s ideal NHL role is on an offensive third line; I don’t think he has the overall skill to be a legitimate top six forward on a good team. Those aren’t the types of players you typically spend extra time and effort holding on to, especially when the team has other prospects that profile in a similar role. If he’s a ‘tweener,’ he should be expendable.
The Habs may wind up as sellers barring this little win streak turning into another big one like the beginning of the season. If they do wind up selling, don’t be surprised if it’s not just veterans that are on the move but Andrighetto as well. If they don’t see him as part of the long-term future, it’s better to deal him now as his trade value will take a dip once the clock hits 3:01 PM EST on the 29th.