The San Jose Sharks just drafted a potential first-line center with the fourth overall pick with Will Smith, and at the draft in Nashville, there are some rumors that the team’s current top-six centers could be on the move. The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta reports that “teams have talked to” the Sharks about Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture.
Pagnotta stressed that no trade is close, and it’s worth noting that Hertl has a full no-move clause and Couture has a three-team no-trade list. It’d be a hard trade to complete, but the news that they’re listening on their two top centers signals GM Mike Grier is leaving no stone unturned as he attempts to rebuild San Jose into a playoff contender.
Some other notes from the Western Conference:
- Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman cites colleague Jeff Marek to report that the two restricted free agents the Nashville Predators will issue qualifying offers are center Cody Glass and defenseman Alexandre Carrier. That means notable players such as 2017 first-round pick Cal Foote and capable defensive winger Rasmus Asplund will hit the open market. It’s somewhat a surprise to see Foote go unqualified, seeing that he was recently acquired as part of the Tanner Jeannot trade and does have a first-round pedigree.
- Sam Steel won’t be issued a qualifying offer by the Minnesota Wild, according to The Athletic’s Michael Russo. Steel had a decent season with the Wild, scoring 10 goals and 28 points playing at times in the team’s number-one center role. But the Wild could be weary of Steel’s arbitration potential given their dire cap issues, so he’ll now have a chance to hit the open market in a few days.
- Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill was named the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year, beating out finalists Don Sweeney of the Boston Bruins and Bill Zito of the Florida Panthers. While Nill’s club didn’t make it to the Stanley Cup Final like Zito’s or go on a historic regular season run like Sweeney’s, Nill’s shrewd moves such as acquiring Max Domi and Evgenii Dadonov during the season helped propel the club to the Western Conference Final.
- Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reports that Eduard Sale, the Seattle Kraken’s recent first-round pick, is going to play for the OHL’s Barrie Colts next season. Sale has played the last two seasons in Czechia’s top pro league for Brno Kometa, and now will get the chance to play against his peers in major junior hockey. He’s an exceptionally skilled offensive player, so Colts fans should expect Sale to be among their top scorers if all goes well.