News and notes from around the NHL this afternoom:
- The Montreal Canadiens are keeping 2016 1st round pick Mikhail Sergachev around for at least nine games, reports TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie. Sergachev was drafted 9th overall this summer and has become a defensive prospect to watch over the course of the pre-season. He spent last year with the OHL Windsor Spitfires and scored 17G and 40A in 67 games—and an additional 2G and 3A in five playoff games. While it is likely that the Canadiens send Sergachev back to Windsor after nine games, an impressive performance could garner a longer look. The Canadiens have also decided to keep F Artturi Lehkonen. Last season Lehkonen scored 16G and 17A in 49 games for Frolunda HC of the SHL.
- Chris Nichols of Today’s Slapshot outlines some key dates to pay attention to during the NHL season. General Managers will meet in Toronto on November 15th. December 1st is the signing deadline for Group 2 Free Agents (most but not all RFAs). The NHL trade deadline is set for March 1st. Finally, the NHL GMs will meet again in Boca Raton from March 6-8.
- The Chicago Blackhawks have called up both D Viktor Svedberg and D Ville Pokka for its final preseason game tonight. Both did not make the big club out of camp, so this move is to either provide rest to Chicago’s starters, or as a trade showcase. Svedberg is a towering defensemen, measuring 6’8″ and weighing 238lbs. He scored 1G and 14A in 40 games for the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs last year. Pokka had more success in Rockford last year, scoring 10G and 35A in 76 games. He played on Finland’s World Cup team this year but failed register a point. Chicago is rumored to be asking about Edmonton Oilers’ Nail Yakupov, and any unexpected call-ups could point to a potential trade situation.