One player the Carolina Hurricanes are keeping a close eye on is William Nylander. While the Hurricanes wouldn’t mind acquiring the restricted free agent if Toronto opts to move him, The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun (subscription required) writes that the Hurricanes are also keeping a close eye on whether the team even signs him as Nylander’s contract (assuming he signs) could have a huge effect on one of their own players — Sebastian Aho.
Aho’s entry-level deal runs out after this year and with the way the 21-year-old has developed, could command a high price from Carolina this offseason. With Carolina well known to be frugal when it comes to handing out long-term deals, Aho is a must. The forward has started strong this season, scoring four goals and eight assists in the team’s first seven games, suggesting he could have another breakout season after scoring 29 goals a season ago. Regardless, Nylander’s contract could be a significant comparable for Carolina in the coming weeks or months. If Nylander’s holdout is successful, it could cost the Hurricanes quite a bit as well.
- In a mailbag series, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press writes that the Detroit Red Wings are still discussing what to do with rookie forward Michael Rasmussen. The 19-year-old either has to stay with the team or be returned to juniors, but Rasmussen has struggled so far in transitioning to the NHL. He has just one assist in six games and has seen his ice time dip to just 9:56 on Thursday against Tampa Bay. The scribe writes that the team would prefer not to return him to the Tri-City Americans of the WHL, but Rasmussen only has three more games to prove himself to management, before they have to make a decision. If Rasmussen reaches 10 NHL games, he burns his first year of his entry-level deal.
- In a mailbag of his own, NBC Sports Joe Haggerty writes that the Boston Bruins are in need of another quality top-six player and believes the Bruins should look to make a trade. He suggests the team should be open to moving one of their young talents as part of any package, including Anders Bjork, Danton Heinen, Ryan Donato or even Matt Grzelcyk to make a deal happen. The scribe also believes that the team needs to move David Backes from the second line into their bottom-six.
- With Seth Jones close to returning to the Columbus Blue Jackets’ lineup, The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reports that head coach John Tortorella has already said that Jones will return to the top defensive line opposite of Zach Werenski. The coach also admitted that he loves the combination of Marcus Nutivaara and Ryan Murray as the team’s second pairing. Which means that David Savard will move out of the team’s top-four.