Erik Gustafsson is a prime candidate to be traded, if this season does not go well. Gustafsson had the best season of his career last year, registering 60 points as a defenseman with the Chicago Blackhawks.
The last time a defenseman for the Blackhawks registered more than 60 points was when Duncan Keith put up 61 points in 2014.
Gustafsson, like a lot of other players on this list, needs to have a great season to get the contract he feels he deserves. Last season’s 60 point performance will likely be taken into consideration though.
The biggest thing when you hand out a contract at the NHL level is consistency, so Bowman and company need to figure out if last season was a fluke for Gustafsson or a building block for his future.
Of course with the rise of Adam Boqvist, there is little question in my mind that Erik Gustafsson does not really have a future with this Blackhawks team.
Gustafsson is not great defensively and often becomes a liability in the defensive zone. Boqvist can step into Gustafsson’s role on the power play and help provide scoring opportunities from the blue line.