The NHL Trade Deadline is now less than two weeks away which means it’s time to kick off our annual Trade Odds series. First up is a look at the IceCaps, starting with the goalies and defencemen.
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.
Zach Fucale: 15% – The time for selling high came and went a while ago. If the Habs want to move him at this point, they’re selling low, either for a late round pick or a similarly struggling prospect. While that doesn’t sound particularly enticing, it’s possible that they’ll want to clear a spot for Michael McNiven who will be turning pro next season.
Charlie Lindgren: 5% – I don’t think Lindgren is among the untouchable youngsters that Marc Bergevin referenced during his press conference last week but I don’t think he’s far off from that spot either. He’s Montreal’s best goalie prospect, is close to being NHL ready, and Carey Price is a year away from unrestricted free agency. Plus, goalies don’t tend to fetch too much in trades. These all add up to Lindgren sticking around unless he’s included in a blockbuster deal.
AHL Contract: Yann Danis – With Lindgren being a rookie, they need a veteran to work with him and act as insurance if he starts to falter down the stretch. Danis is the right fit for that role so they won’t be moving him in an AHL trade.
Philip Samuelsson: 30% – He was signed to be someone who could be called up in a pinch, landed in Sylvain Lefebvre’s doghouse in the preseason and has been a card-carrying member ever since. The Habs need to get a left shot blueliner in St. John’s that they’re comfortable calling up if injuries strike. Since Samuelsson isn’t fitting the bill, it’s not crazy to think that they’ll try to move him for someone that they would be more comfortable using if need be.
Traded to Carolina February 21st.
Brett Lernout: 20% – I don’t think the Habs want to move him as he is making slow but steady progress this season. That’s what will make him intriguing to other teams though, especially since he’s in his second AHL season while still being in the first year of his contract. If they have to part with a defensive prospect that is a class or two below the likes of Mikhail Sergachev and Noah Juulsen, Lernout is going to be one of the prospects in that lower tier that could move.
Joel Hanley: 10% – While he looked okay late last year in Montreal, he struggled a lot this season which will likely scare a lot of teams off. Hanley’s not exactly lighting it up in St. John’s either. It’s not a given he gets a qualifying offer in the summer so there’s a small chance he’s moved in a deal similar to what I suggested for Samuelsson, a trade that gets them someone they’d have a little more confidence in recalling if they had to.
Ryan Johnston: 10% – The Habs clearly see something in him that I don’t. He was out of his element in the NHL and he’s a liability most nights in his own end even at the minor league level. I’m tempted to go lower thinking that he’s not playing well enough to be moved but maybe there’s another team or two that had interest in him as a college free agent that may take a chance on him.
Tom Parisi: 5% – It hasn’t been a great rookie year for Parisi who has often been in and out of the lineup. If he can’t crack the lineup on a porous St. John’s defence, there aren’t going to be teams looking to add him to their prospect pools. Probably the only way he gets dealt if he’s included to match contracts.
Keegan Lowe: 5% – I don’t think he was really targeted by the Habs in the Samuelsson trade. I suspect they just had to take him back to match contracts while letting Samuelsson play for his father. He could conceivably be a toss-in himself but it’s more likely he plays a depth role for the IceCaps down the stretch.
Zach Redmond: 5% – We all know Bergevin likes depth on the back end. Now that Redmond has cleared waivers, he is exactly the type of depth defender that the Habs will want to keep around. (He’ll also play a big role in trying to help them hold onto a playoff spot.) Considering they’d have to turn around and trade for a replacement if they were to move him, they’re better off just holding onto Redmond.
Dalton Thrower: N/A – The reason I’m giving Thrower an N/A here is that there doesn’t seem to be any firm confirmation of his status. He played two games in the ECHL early on before being removed from the active roster. I’ve seen suggestions that he’s hurt and others that he just didn’t want to play anymore and there hasn’t been any confirmation either way. It’s possible he’s tossed in as a matching contract in a move but that’s about it.
AHL Contracts: Julien Brouillette and Josiah Didier – While Brouillette has slowed down in recent weeks, he’s still a top four option most nights so it’s unlikely he’d move in a minor league deal. Didier has fallen out of a regular spot and is someone who in theory could move in an AHL swap but it’s unlikely to happen.
Goaltending: Low – Assuming none of their current three goalies get dealt, there’s no real need to add anyone else. They’re in pretty good shape here.
Defence: High – Even with Redmond in the fold, St. John’s back end is downright terrible most nights. They would be well served to add a left-shooting veteran who they could use with Montreal in a pinch, similar to what Redmond provides on the right side. They could also stand to add a bit more depth in general, especially since it’s unlikely they’ll get any help late from their junior prospects.