The March 3rd trade deadline is approaching quickly and it will be here before we know it. Some teams like the Islanders and Rangers have decided to be aggressive and make some big moves already. This will be the second trade deadline of the Blackhawks' current rebuild and considering it is getting called "the deepest draft class in years", it will be an even more important one.
The first and most obvious type of trade to expect are the rebuilding trades where the team sells off players for prospects and draft picks. It will be exciting to see how many picks the team can stockpile this deadline.
The second type of trade is what the real focus of this article is about, project trades. Expect the team to bring in undervalued and underrated talent buried in the depth charts of other teams. Think along the lines of what the team has done with Brandon Hagel and Sam Lafferty. The team's pro scouts should be looking for players that haven't been given much of a chance to succeed, get them on the team for close to nothing, make them into more valuable players, and then flip them to contenders for more assets.
Speeding up the rebuild should be the main priority. If the team can continue to find players worth late round picks and then turn them into valuable players worth earlier picks, they will find success in building a top prospect pool. The Hagel trade was a great start in this process. Acquiring multiple first round picks along with Raddysh and Katchouk was the right move to make.
Now, Lafferty will be next. According to Frank Seravalli in his "Top 10 Trade Targets" article on Daily Faceoff, "teams have said the asking price is believed to be a second-round pick now". This is a significant return for Lafferty considering he was acquired for Alex Nylander who has mostly been in the AHL ever since the trade took place just over a year ago.
As long as Davidson sticks to these two types of trades and is able to get reasonable returns for as many players as he can, it should be a good deadline for the franchise. It will be exciting to see who stays and who goes as well as how many draft picks can be stockpiled.