3 players the Blackhawks can steal from the Avalanche in NHL free agency

The Blackhawks won’t need to spend much in NHL free agency and still land quality players, with the Avalanche having quite a few to offer.
Mar 4, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Tyler Johnson (90) attempts to score
Mar 4, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Tyler Johnson (90) attempts to score / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 3
Next

Sean Walker, D

This one is a far cry, but defenseman Sean Walker deserves to be mentioned here just in case general manager Kyle Davidson doesn’t bring back Nikita Zaitsev, Jarred Tinordi, or Jaycob Megna, all of whom are in their 30s and don’t factor in as long-term fixtures. 

While Sean Walker will enter his age-30 season, and one that looks counterintuitive to what Davidson should do, it’s not a bad idea to give a late-bloomer serious consideration. Before he played 63 games with the Philadelphia Flyers and another 18 with the Avalanche, Walker saw just 232 contests with the Los Angeles Kings from 2018-19 to 2022-23. 

He put up 67 points, 16 goals, 63 takeaways, 253 hits, and 309 blocks, which, when broken down to a five-year span are, at best, average. If most critics expected average out of Walker this season, they were wrong, as he scored 10 goals and 29 points, with 41 takeaways, 127 blocks, and 118 hits, so it made sense that he also recorded a career-high in average time on ice. 

Walker, despite heading into his age-30 season in 2024-25, has shown he can sign a longer, more lucrative deal, and he will probably keep playing like a blueliner in their prime for the next few seasons at least. Sure, it’s counterintuitive on the surface, but after some thought, Walker would be an outstanding signing. 

feed

(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)