With a handful of games played thus far and the trade deadline approaching in two months, it is time for the Chicago Blackhawks to decide what route they are going to take. Since the team announced a rebuild in the off-season it makes the most sense for the team to be sellers, even if they find themselves in a bubble/playoff spot.
With Jonathan Toews’ illness and injuries to Kirby Dach and Alexander Nylander, it makes sense to follow the plan, rather than try to be something they are not. The first player that could be traded is Carl Soderberg. This signing is a good depth signing with the team needing a taxi squad due to the pandemic, plus other injuries. However, Soderberg is in his mid 30’s on a rebuilding team.
He has no points so far this season and while he may bring good leadership, experience, and face-off ability, it is more beneficial to play Lucas Wallmark over him, because Wallmark played well when he has been in the lineup. Due to depth being critical this year, the ‘Hawks could acquire a mid-round pick for the veteran forward.
The second player that could be traded is Calvin de Haan. Again, just like in Soderberg’s case, de Haan brings good leadership and experience but with a rebuild underway, it makes sense to let the younger players play. With de Haan’s big cap hit and the evolutions of Nicolas Beaudin and Ian Mitchell, it makes sense for the Hawks to move de Haan and his cap hit. However, due to his cap hit the Blackhawks will most likely only be able to acquire a late-round pick in return for the veteran defenseman.
The Chicago Blackhawks may need to move on from a few players this season if they are going to continue down the rebuilding path.
The final player that could be traded this season is Nikita Zadorov. Zadorov brings an element to the ‘Hawks they do not have which is his physicality and defensive play. However, so far this season Zadorov has been committing turnovers or has been caught out of position on numerous occasions.
Just like de Haan, with the emergence of younger players and the Blackhawks rebuild status and salary cap position, it makes the most sense to try and move the big defenseman in exchange for a mid-round pick.
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None of these players will net big returns, but trading them for draft capital while allowing younger players to play and gain experience would be invaluable for the players and organization. Keep an eye on these three players, especially if the team is out of a playoff spot come early-April, as the Chicago Blackhawks may look toward the future and let more prospects crack the lineup and gain experience.