Free Agent and Trade Bait Forwards - Offseason 2018
Top 5 Free Agents/Trade Baits
1. John Tavares (Free Agent) – Superstar, ideal #1 center that has hands lathered in only the finest of silks and vision of the ice would make the “great one” smile. Best attribute is the man wants to win. Pursuing teams might want to make sure he checks out with the chiropractor first because the heavy lifting of the entire Islanders organization might have weighed on him a bit.
Bold Prediction: Tavares signs with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
2. Max Pacioretty (Trade Bait) – The 5 time 30 plus goal scorer could be on the outs with Montreal as Bergervin continues to press the self-destruct button in Montreal. Max is going to score goals. Match him with your number 1 or 2 center and he will find the back of the net. Last year there was a lack of production due to a very lackluster Montreal lineup who seems to forget that you have to eventually pickup someone to play center every once in a while.
Bold Prediction: Pacioretty is traded to the Edmonton Oilers.
3. James Van Riemsdyk (Free Agent) – Setting a career high in goals last year, JVR seemed to find his fit in the Toronto lineup in delivering his most productive year in terms of shooting percentage, powerplay goals, and powerplay points. A large body that can still skate at the new NHL speed, I expect some NHL GMs to be in the market and potentially overpay for the winger entering in his 10 th season.
Bold Prediction: JVR signs with the Carolina Hurricanes.
4. Jeff Skinner (Trade Bait) – Half of his NHL seasons have been above the 50 point mark. The shifty skater and nifty playmaker makes for an interesting possible trading piece for a confused Carolina club that will see a demanding Rod Brind’Armour behind the bench for the upcoming season. Skinner may be better suited on the wing then up the middle due to his diminutive figure and create some more open ice for him in a less defensive role.
Bold Prediction: Jeff Skinner is traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
5. Ilya Kovalchuk (free agent) – Could we see the second coming of Alexander Radulov in the form of the past Atlanta Thrasher superstar? Kovalchuk is still putting up points in the KHL on SKA or is it the national Olympics athletes of Russia or Russian doping national team or are they all the same? Point is that the Russian star can still score at high rate and could find himself a perfect fit in the NHL as Radulov has in Dallas.
Bold Prediction: Ilya Kovalchuk signs with the Dallas Stars.