We have recently looked at potential return from three key defensemen and possible destinations for the Montreal Canadiens’ top forwards. Today, we continue our series of fantasy trades for utility forwards. We will stay away from low contract, low return forwards as those could go just about anywhere. We’ll focus on a few guys very useful with some meat on the bones.
It hasn’t been an easy transition for Dvorak with the Canadiens. Injuries and COVID not helping either, both his offensive and defensive output are below what we can expect from him. He was playing much better prior to his latest injury however. Rumours are that a few teams are looking at him.
I’m going to left field on this one by picking the New York Rangers. They are rumoured to be interested in J.T. Miller ($5.25M) in Vancouver but the Canucks are demanding a ransom for him (4 assets reportedly). If the Rangers are looking at a center, it tells me that they might not re-sign Ryan Strome ($4.5M), who is a UFA at the end of the season. Dvorak would be a cheaper replacement than Miller both cap-wise and in assets needed to get them.
|To NYR||To MTL|
|Christian Dvorak – C||Nils Lundkvist – RD|
5’10” 190 lbs
Draft: 2018 NYR, 1st rd, 28th pk
Some people will feel like Dvorak isn’t enough for Lundkvist and they may or may not be right. If need be, the Habs could add a pick or prospect, or another NHL piece. The Rangers are very deep on young defensemen and Lundkvist has been rumoured to be sacrificed. He is described as a mobile puck-moving defenseman who likes to make quick decisions and join the rush.
Here’s another guy who hasn’t had it easy this season. Between injuries and COVID, Armia’s play has been affected big time and his offensive production has suffered through it all. When he’s on, he’s very difficult to stop. He has a good stick and he’s great on the forecheck. The guy is a monster in the playoffs.
I’m going with the Wild. They are thin on right-handed wingers and they do like to practice a physical style. Adding a talented and big body on the right side might just be what the doctor ordered. Wild’s GM Bill Guerin and Kent Hughes are good friends, so it would be a good way to break the ice between the two men. The Habs might need to take a salary dump to make it happen.
|To MIN||To MTL|
|Joel Armia – RW||Simon Johansson – RD|
6’2″ 185 lbs
Draft: 2018 MIN, 5th rd, 148th pk
Elite Prospects describes him as a skilled offensive defenseman with a good scoring ability. Very valuable on the man advantage. Reads the game well and finds openings with ease. Has a pretty accurate release and good size.
Contrarily to Dvorak and Armia, Lehkonen is having himself a good season. Just recently, Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff mentioned that the Canadiens’ winger was in high demand and that he could be this year’s version of what Blake Coleman was last season at the deadline. The New Jersey Devils received a first round pick and Nolan Foote, a first round pick himself, from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Coleman.
There are so many potential destinations for Lehkonen but I can’t shake off the fact that Bergevin knows him very well. The Kings have lost out on Toffoli, outbid by Calgary. They might push harder now for Lehkonen. He would be great on the Kings’ third line, perhaps even with Danault.
|To LAK||To MTL|
|Artturi Lehkonen – LW||Sean Durzi – RD|
6’0″ 188 lbs
Draft: 2018 TOR, 2nd rd, 52th pk
Durzi is raw. But he’s an offensive, puck-moving, right-handed defenseman who skates well. He can also play on the power play.
Next time, we’ll finish our series of Fantasy Trades with the goaltenders. Stay tuned…
Shifting Trade Winds by Bob Trask