The 2018 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 Laval Rocket.
Normally, this is a column that gets split into two parts – goalies/defencemen and forwards. However, with there being so few players of interest, I’m going to combine the two this time.
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: 30% – It was reported back in December that the Habs had been trying to move Fucale and had yet to find a taker. This is often the time that teams will give players that they’re not likely to give a qualifying offer to a chance elsewhere so perhaps there’s a swap of change of scenery prospects that can be made here.
Michael McNiven: 5% – This season hasn’t gone too well and their plans to give him more playing time in Brampton seem to be out the window as they prefer to carry all three on the AHL for some reason that makes no sense from a development perspective. It’s very much a possibility that McNiven is the starter in Laval next year and with their other goalie prospects still in college, their desire to deal him should be quite low.
Less Than 5%
Charlie Lindgren – Before his most recent contract, he was originally slotted higher than this but they’re not going to sign him for three years and then turn around and trade him.
Brett Lernout: 10% – Things haven’t gone too well this season for Lernout and as a result, it wouldn’t be too surprising if he’s a little lower on the organizational depth chart now than he was at the start of the year. Knowing he has to clear waivers next season, they could maybe look to move him now if they don’t think he’ll make the big club but that doesn’t seem too likely.
Tom Parisi: 5% – Although he has played better this season, I don’t think he has done enough to earn a qualifying offer. Thus, if another team wants a closer look at him, I doubt the Habs would stand in the way. That said, I don’t think there are other teams that may want to give him a qualifying offer so I expect he’ll stay put.
Less than 5%
Simon Bourque: With how little he has played, teams aren’t going to be viewing him as a true prospect worth trading for at this point. It’d be nice to see him play more of a regular role down the stretch.
Noah Juulsen: He’s part of Montreal’s future on the back end so it wouldn’t make sense to trade him…unless he’s part of a trade for a top centre prospect.
Matt Taormina: If this was the last year of his deal, I’d put the odds quite high since Laval’s going nowhere. Since he has another season left and has done exactly what he was signed to do, he should be part of the plans for next year so he’ll stay put.
AHL deals: Eric Gelinas, Stefan Leblanc
Gelinas is on the top pairing (despite his struggles) and is a local player so I don’t see him being moved. While Leblanc has struggled lately, he’s someone that should still see regular action as the Habs try to evaluate whether or not he’s worthy of an entry-level contract (or another AHL pact) after the season.
Adam Cracknell: 20% – Teams often looking for fourth line depth for the playoffs (not just Montreal) and with the way Cracknell has played, he may have worked his way onto the radar of a team or two. Assuming Laval has given up on making the playoffs and that the Habs don’t view Cracknell as part of their future, this is one player that could move.
Michael McCarron: 15% – This hasn’t been a great year for McCarron and while he is still likely a part of Montreal’s future plans, it’s probably only as a fourth liner at this point. If there is another team out there that thinks he still has some value beyond that, this is the time to move him.
Chris Terry: 15% – Same argument as Cracknell although the Habs may be more inclined to hold onto him if they think they can get Terry to sign another one-year deal after the season. Plus, the optics of trading a top AHL scorer may not look too good in Laval.
Nikita Scherbak: 10% – He’s helping his cause with his performance since getting recalled but while the Habs are taking notice, other teams may be as well. The only way I see Scherbak being moved is if it’s a trade where the Habs wind up with a young centre coming the other way. Otherwise, he can be pencilled into the lineup for next season and beyond. (Though Scherbak is currently with the NHL team, he has been in Laval for most of the season so he’s listed here instead.)
Daniel Audette: 5% – Audette has shown flashes of being a strong offensive contributor at the minor league level but has yet to put it all together. If there’s another team out there that thinks they can get him to do so, perhaps Marc Bergevin can leverage something from them but realistically, he’s in the top-six for Laval the rest of the way.
Less than 5%
Kyle Baun: Had Baun been able to maintain his level of play over the first six weeks of the season, he’d be higher on this list. The fact that he’s a fourth line player on a team bereft of any quality depth should scare anyone off from trading for him.
Markus Eisenschmid: I don’t think that Laval has given Eisenschmid enough of a chance this season and have been too keen to keep him in the bottom six. However, the fact they’ve done so makes it unlikely that he’ll have trade suitors.
Jeremy Gregoire: Gregoire has cooled off lately after a quality first half of the season and it’s doubtful teams will be looking to trade for him. I’d call him a darkhorse candidate to get a game or two in Montreal before the end of the year to help them determine if he’ll get a qualifying offer.
Antoine Waked: He looked good in the preseason but has largely been quiet with Laval. It’s too early to consider him a throw-in to match contracts in a trade and on his own, he doesn’t have trade value.
AHL deals: Jordan Boucher, David Broll, Thomas Ebbing, Niki Petti, Yannick Veilleux
AHL trades at this time of year are primarily for impact veterans. That takes Boucher, Ebbing, and Petti out of the equation right there. Broll can’t crack Laval’s lineup on a regular basis while Veilleux is a depth player. It’s highly unlikely any AHL contender will look to add any of these players.