The Seattle Kraken cannot yet make trades, but that won’t stop them from making a major impact on the upcoming NHL Trade Deadline. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Kraken GM Ron Francis has begun to receive calls from a number of teams seeking input on potential deadline deals. Any team adding a valuable player who is not just an impending UFA rental is also adding another piece to their Expansion equation. In many cases, top contenders acquiring these quality players will either not be able to protect them or their addition will displace another valued player already on the roster. As a result, they have been reaching out to Francis to see what it would cost to make a side deal to protect assets that would be exposed by a potential deadline trade. According to LeBrun, the league’s other GM’s have not been happy with Francis’ responses. It seems the going rate for a side deal with Seattle to protect a player that they would otherwise be selecting is a first-round pick and a prospect. This price is scaring teams away from making major deals at the deadline, quieting a market that already has a number of restrictions working against it.
- While a seventh-round pick may not mean much to the Ottawa Senators, especially given their immense pipeline of talent, it meant a lot to Bentley University. In 2018, the Senators’ final-round selection Jakov Novak became the first ever NHL Draft pick to attend Bentley, an Atlantic Hockey school who has never won their conference tournament nor qualified for the NCAA Tournament. The oft-forgotten Boston-area program was proud to add Novak, who has played up to expectations over the past three years. With 30 goals and 62 points in 87 games, including 17 points in 15 games this year, the power forward has been one of the best players in Atlantic Hockey – and other teams took notice. The junior winger is set to depart Bentley for greener pastures, leaving the program yet again absent of NHL talent. He’s not going far, though. Novak has announced that he will transfer to Northeastern University for next season. The Huskies exited the Hockey East Tournament early this year and did not qualify for the national stage, so they will be eager to add another talented forward with pro ability in hopes of taking a step forward next season. Novak hinted that 2021-22 could be the end of his NCAA career, but it only take one year for him to make a major impact at Northeastern. Vice versa, just one year playing alongside and against superior collegiate talent could be a major developmental leap for Novak that earns him a contract with Ottawa.
- Vancouver Canucks star Elias Pettersson was eligible to be activated from the Long-Term Injured Reserve for the first time today, but his stay is not yet over. Head coach Travis Green tells NHL.com that the team underestimated Pettersson’s upper-body injury and he is not close to a return. “Definitely was more serious than we thought originally,” Green stated on Tuesday. “We didn’t think it was going to be this long. It hasn’t gotten any better to a point where he can play yet and I still think he’s going to be out for a few more games at least.” After a slow start to the season, the Canucks have been playing much better of late. In fact, they have the second-best record in their past ten games of any team in the North Division. However, still more than 100 percentage points back of a playoff spot, Vancouver will need Pettersson healthy if they want to complete the comeback.