Next up in our annual Trade Odds series is a look at St. John’s forwards. With the Habs looking to add at the deadline, there’s a good chance at least one or two of these players will be in another organization shortly.
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.
Charles Hudon: 40% – The former fifth round pick is lighting it up once again this year at an even better clip than 2015-16. Despite that, he continues to not really get any sort of real chance with Montreal. If that chance isn’t coming, now is the time for the Habs to really consider dealing him, particularly since he will require waivers next season. At this stage, his value isn’t likely to get much higher so if he’s not part of the future plans, the time to trade Hudon is now.
Jacob de la Rose: 30% – There’s a future for de la Rose in Montreal but it appears to be a very limited one. His offensive game simply hasn’t progressed enough for him to be more than a fourth liner in the NHL. Knowing that waivers will come into play next year, the time to move him if there is one may be within the next week if there’s a team that still thinks he could have a slightly higher ceiling. Unlike some of the top prospects, he’s someone that I could see getting moved for a rental.
Mark MacMillan/Connor Crisp: 20% – Their respective performances aren’t why they’re ahead of most of the players on this list. Both players are set to see their entry-level deals expire at the end of the season and it’s looking highly unlikely that either will be qualified. That sets them up as candidates to be thrown into a deal where the Habs are taking a player back and sending a pick the other way to match the number of contracts in the trade.
Michael McCarron: 15% – Although he’s up with the Habs at the moment, he has played more with St. John’s so he’ll be covered here. The offensive progression hasn’t been there this year and it’s looking more and more like he’s going to be a bottom six player at his peak. It also feels like they’ve been showcasing McCarron a bit as of late as well. He’s someone that is certainly part of the future plans but I get the sense they’re a bit more willing to move him now than they were at this point last year.
Jeremy Gregoire: 10% – Year two hasn’t gone particularly well for Gregoire and as a result, his value has dropped enough that he’s not going to be included in any deal of significance. Perhaps there’s a team out there that thinks they can unlock the rest of his potential and are interested in a swap of change of scenery type of players but that’s probably the only move he’d be in at this time and there’s little guarantee that the Habs would be interested in such a swap either as they may not have given up on him yet.
Nikita Scherbak: 10% – The hard thing to remember with him is that this is still the first year of his contract. While it feels like he has been in the minors for a long time already (thanks to his contract sliding last year), he still has plenty of development time left so even though he has been inconsistent this season, it’s not really that concerning yet. However, I don’t think he’s at that untouchable level either so if GM Marc Bergevin has a deal in place for someone who can help the big club for a few years, I suspect they’d be willing to part with him. I wouldn’t expect him to move for a rental player though.
Daniel Audette: 5% – While they’d never publicly admit it, Audette has received preferential treatment when it comes to playing time this season. Other than a few good weeks, he has done little with it so teams aren’t going to be calling. He’s someone that will need to be a lot more productive before he has much in the way of trade value.
Stefan Matteau: 5% – The former first round pick has played nothing like a first rounder and has spent a lot of time as a bottom six forward with St. John’s. Last year there was a thought that there still may be some upside left in him. That’s not the case anymore as he’s basically a career AHL player at this point. Those players don’t tend to be moved unless they’re matching contract for contract (and there are better players to fit that role in a trade).
Markus Eisenschmid: 5% – If other teams wanted him on an NHL deal, he was technically a free agent until last month. No one signed him so it’s hard to imagine anyone trading for him shortly after the Habs gave him the entry-level contract. It’s safe to assume he sticks around.
Bobby Farnham: 4% – He has taken on a bigger role than expected with St. John’s and has done alright with it which should make them want to keep him. He’s also one of the few fighters Montreal has under contract so if they run into a matchup where they need more grit, he’s probably better to have around than the fringe asset they’d get in return in a trade for him.
Max Friberg: 3% – Friberg fills an important role with the IceCaps but it’s not the type of role that other teams are going to want to trade for now. At this point, it seems like there’s a good chance he’ll play closer to home next season which would present a chance for him to be qualified and then hold his NHL rights for another couple of years. That helps his value ever-so-slightly but again, that’s not exactly worth trading for either.
Chris Terry: 1% – He has cleared waivers a couple of times now with no takers so it’s hard to see anyone wanting to trade for him unless they want to try to make a big run at a Calder Cup title. If St. John’s is serious about trying to make the playoffs, Terry needs to be kept around and he’s certainly not bad depth to have for Montreal as he has shown he can be serviceable in a limited role.
AHL Contracts: David Broll, Yannick Veilleux – Broll just signed a one year extension so he’s not getting moved while Veilleux has played his way up in the lineup since the start of the season. Neither are the types of players that are good enough to be dealt in a swap at the minor league level. (Anthony Camara and Alexandre Ranger are on PTO deals and aren’t going to be dealt either.)
Scoring Forwards – Medium – Right now, with players like Hudon, Terry, and Daniel Carr (who will be covered with the other Montreal forwards as that’s where he has been the most this season) on the roster, they’re in pretty good shape. That’s likely to change by the time the deadline passes so it would be nice if Bergevin could find a way to bring in at least one somewhat capable threat offensively.
Defensive Forwards – Medium/Low – Unless de la Rose gets dealt, they’re in decent shape here (it’s a lack of defensive ability from the defence that’s the problem). Players like Eisenschmid and Gregoire could also use a chance to step into a bigger role down the stretch which may be better for development purposes than bringing in a replacement.
Depth – Medium – With most of the team healthy in Montreal and St. John’s (feel free to knock on wood before reading on), the IceCaps actually have strong depth up front. Take a couple of players out with injuries and/or trades though and that will change quickly. It may just be as simple as giving Camara another PTO deal but they’ll likely have to do a couple of things to ensure they’re not scrambling for replacement players like they were earlier this season.