After a relatively quiet off-season for the Chicago Blackhawks, there’s legitimate possibility that the current roster will not be the same come the start of the 2018-19 regular season. Could Gustav Forsling be the next Blackhawk to be traded?
Seemingly every trade-deadline, seemingly every season, the Blackhawks were buyers. And, seemingly every-trade deadline, seemingly every season, they bought high. In 2013, General Manager Stan Bowman brought in Michal Handzus who played a gigantic role in the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup win that season.
In 2016, he dealt a young winger in Marko Dano and a first-round pick in that years NHL draft to secure Andrew Ladd. Later that week, he traded for Montreal Canadian’s wingers Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann. In return, they were forced to give up center Phillip Danault and a second-round pick in the 2018 entry draft.
Danault hurts, retrospectively.
Through the years, the process has continued without much remorse. The downside of it is, the Blackhawks’ prospect pool was being drained at a rate their drafting couldn’t replenish. For example, they’d be thriving if they had Danault’s presence down the middle. Yet now, for the first time in years, they have a defensive prospect who they can actually afford to deal.
His name is Gustav Forsling.
Will Gustav Forsling Be the Next To Be Traded?
Da Windy City
His situation reminds of Michal Kempny before he was dealt to the Washington Capitals. In 31 NHL games with the Hawks, Kempny put up 7 points and was a +13. However, he never quite stuck in the Blackhawks’ system and was sent away.
In 41 games with Chicago last season, Forsling scored 3 goals and tallied 10 assists. He was a -2 on the year and has never managed to stick around as a productive, full time NHL defenseman as he’s split the last two seasons between the NHL and the AHL’s Rockford Ice Hogs. In fact, his numbers in the AHL were actually worse than his NHL numbers as he’s totaled a combined -15 during his time in Rockford.
During Forsling’s efforts to stick around on the Blackhawks’ roster, Chicago’s defensive prospect pool has quietly been building. For the first time in years, their upcoming defensive prospects actually look promising. In the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, the Blackhawks drafted Adam Boqvist eighth overall. Just nineteen picks later, they drafted defenseman Nicolas Beaudin 27th. In addition to those acquisitions, Chicago has defenseman Henri Jokiharju looking to crack the roster this season. Furthermore, Blake Hillman (22), Dennis Gilbert (21), and Ian Mitchell (19) all look as if they can compete for a legitimate roster spot sooner rather than later.
At Development Camp this year Adam Boqvist and Henri Jokiharju both impressed in a big way. Their showing at camp, and the other additional help on the way, only continues to make Forsling look increasingly disposable.
Jokiharju’s eye-catching play at camp helped his chances to make the team this coming season. Now, because Forsling is out with a wrist injury up until November, Jokiharju’s chances to make the team get an extra boost. Should Jokiharju impress, Forsling’s chances of being moved get an extra boost, too. Then, if the Blackhawks put themselves in position to be buyers, odds are Forsling’s name gets called when a team comes calling looking for a prospect.
Forsling injury, however – which sidelines him until November – could make him a hard sell on teams. But, should Forsling come back healthy with little issue, he could be an appealing trade piece for the Blackhawks to utilize.
Erik Karlsson Trade Rumor
Yesterday, August 22nd, trade talks surrounding the Ottawa Senator’s Erik Karlsson picked up once again. Elliotte Friedman was one of many who took to Twitter breaking the news.
While this doesn’t mean the Sens are sending Karlsson to Chicago, the fact that Karlsson could be moved to the Western Conference is notable. For most of Wednesday afternoon, hockey Twitter has been buzzing about the Karlsson rumor. While these continue to pick up steam, each needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Four hours after Friedman took to Twitter, John Shannon of HockeyCentral on Sportsnet shut down part of it with a tweet of his own.
The future of Karlsson remains to be seen. If the Blackhawks were to go after him, it’s obvious they’d need to give a considerable return back to Ottawa. After trading Vinnie Hinostroza to get rid of Marian Hossa’s contract, Chicago is running low on sweeteners if they’d like to complete any deal.
Only now, Forsling is emerging as the next likely candidate on the move.
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