With Connor Mackey off the board after signing with Calgary on Friday, Arizona State’s Brinson Pasichnuk is arguably the best blueliner left on the market. After drawing interest from roughly 20 teams, TSN’s Frank Seravalli reports in a recent Insider Trading segment that his list has been narrowed down to two. However, Pasichnuk appears to be in no rush to sign as Seravalli notes that the defenseman appears to be holding out hope that the NHL will resume its regular season and therefore be able to burn the first year of his entry-level deal right away.
Teams typically have used a willingness to have a player play his first year down the stretch to help secure them but with the uncertainty surrounding the remainder of the season, the league has stepped in and said it won’t accept contracts that begin this season. That has certainly levelled the playing field but there isn’t much risk on Pasichnuk’s part to wait this out. As long as his two finalists don’t decide to withdraw, the opportunity to sign with either of them would still be there if the NHL winds up cancelling the rest of the season.
The 22-year-old recently wrapped up his senior year with the Sun Devils and saved his best offensive performance for last, recording 37 points (11-26-37) in 36 games; his assist and point totals were career bests. He improved his point production each year and while he isn’t the biggest blueliner, he could be an intriguing addition to a team looking for some offense and mobility from the back end. If Pasichnuk has his way, he’ll be suiting up for that team before the 2019-20 campaign comes to an end, even if he has to wait to do so.