This week on Inside The Cru, Tyler Yaremchuk chats with newly drafted goaltender Carter Gylander about the draft process, his first development camp, and his goals for next season!
Detroit Red Wings
Aside from Tampa Bay, who’s the best team in the Atlantic?
IAN SHEPPARD: It’s so hard not to say Tampa Bay! The best team in the Atlantic other than them for me though would have to be the Boston Bruins. They’re a playoff contender every year and their young depth is gaining experience now putting them in a better spot. They also bring that patented Bruins nastiness that I think gives them an edge.
The other reason I take Boston is that the only other possible team you could mention is Toronto and I’m just not sold on them as being a team that could actually give Tampa Bay some legit competition.
http://vipresbytery.net/wp-content/themes/road-fighter/js/ddsmoothmenu.js?ver=4.8.2 WYATT ZIEGER: It’s gotta be the Boston Bruins for me. Top to bottom they’d be the best team in the division (other than TB) they had an 18 game point streak, mostly without Pastrnak and Big Z is still showing no signs of aging even at 42 years young. The Leafs are going to have their work cut out for them in that first-round matchup.
TYLER YAREMCHUK: Boston is more proven than Toronto so I will say them. Toronto’s forward group makes me think about this one, but I really like Boston’s defence. Goaltending a wash between the two of them. The Bruins playoff experience also attributes to me going with them over the Leafs.
Aside from Washington, who’s the best team in the Metro?
IAN SHEPPARD: The Islanders for me! I would like to say Pittsburgh because they have the playoff experience and could make the deeper run, but ultimately New York has the better team for me. For a roster that isn’t necessarily deep, they’ve been playing better than most people would think. With a goal differential of +28 this year the Isle are being led by one of the best coaches ever and for me are the best team aside from Washington.
Goaltending is also a factor that sets them apart right now with Robin Lehner having an outstanding season landing in the top-5 in GAA a stat he’s had as his best of his career as a starter so far.
WYATT ZIEGER: How could you not say Pittsburgh? I know based off this year that they may not seem like the most dominant but get them in he playoffs and anything could happen. They have everything you want in a team and they’ve done it all before lead by Crosby.
TYLER YAREMCHUK: Am I a fool for continuing to doubt the Islanders? Maybe, but I will. I don’t trust their goaltending and they don’t have the star power up front that someone like Pittsburgh does. Despite their struggles during the regular season, I look at Pittsburgh and see an experienced team, a dynamic forward group, and a goaltender that has been through a few long playoff runs. I wouldn’t want to play them in the first round.
Who’s the best NHL prospect not currently playing in the NHL?
IAN SHEPPARD: My knowledge on NHL prospects doesn’t span very widely so bare with me over this portion of the blog. Rather than me listing who I think the best prospect is and risk looking foolish with my lack of knowledge I’m going to name a few obvious ones not currently the NHL that I look forward to seeing in the future.
Filip Zadina in the Red Wings organization who’s been up and down this year certainly ranks high up on the list. Zadina has put up 31 points in the AHL this year and his permanent stay in the NHL is one many are excited to see. From a goaltending view, Carter Hart is an obvious choice but he’s currently with the big club right now.
I’ll go with Michael DiPietro had a tremendous World Junior tournament this year and has made a start for the Canucks this year, although it was rushed. DiPietro has 23 wins this year in the AHL and 4 shutouts.
WYATT ZIEGER: HOMER PICK TIME: Maxime Comtois, he’s had an injury-plagued season but still has 31 goals in just 25 games and 48 points. He captained Canada at the WJC and finished with 5-1-6 in 5 games. The only reason he’s not in the NHL right now is the fear of losing him to Seattle in the expansion draft. Expect him to have a long, fruitful NHL career.
TYLER YAREMCHUK: Going to give a little bit of love to the AJHL and say Cale Makar. The former fourth overall pick was good with Team Canada is having a hell of a season with U-Mass with 46 points in 36 games. Those are historic kind of numbers in the NCAA. He’s a little undersized, but he’s dynamic and can move the puck very efficiently. He’s the exact definition of what a modern NHL defenseman should be.
Which Western Conference teams do you see as “sellers” heading into the deadline?
IAN SHEPPARD: The bottom three. Kings, Oilers and Ducks. The Kings and Ducks are aging teams and are past contending for a cup and have a few pieces that could sold to start building towards the future. The only issue becomes bad contracts and whether or not some of the players they want to move can be moved.
In terms of the Oilers, they fall into the exact same boat with bad contracts that are unmovable. But they can start offloading pieces on 1-year deals they know won’t resign in the offseason. Guys like Cam Talbot, Alex Petrovic, Brandon Manning, Ty Rattie, Jujhar Khaira, and Alex Chiasson are all options.
TYLER YAREMCHUK: The LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks are the only two teams I view as 100% sellers at this point. The Oilers are in an interesting spot too. They’ll dangle names like Chiasson, Kassian, and some of their lower-end defenseman. They’ll deal Cam Talbot as well. Apart from that, they might look for some additions that benefit them next season. Chicago might sell, but they don’t have very many assets that are easy to move. The Coyotes would probably like to swap their pending UFA’s for picks as well. The Minnesota Wild are reportedly going to put an eye towards the future, so watch for them to sell off some pieces before February 25th.
WYATT ZIEGER: In the West, it’s hard for you who will sell but I think that there should be 4 definite sellers in the Western Conference. LA has already started the process with Jake Muzzin being shipped out but Anaheim, Edmonton, and Minnesota should also put themselves on the short list of teams who more than likely won’t make the playoffs.
Anaheim has Manson, Silfervberg, Kesler, and Miller as good trade chips right now. Edmonton would like to move Chiasson, Talbot, Manning, and Petrovic although the latter two will be difficult. And poor Minnesota who is actually in a playoff spot right now but is still without Dumba and has lost captain Mikko Koivu for the rest of the season.
And what about the East?
IAN SHEPPARD: I’m going to go with the same formula as last time and say the bottom three teams in the East as well. The Senators have been having a yard sale since the season started and despite talks of Matt Duchene re-signing I still think he gets moved at the deadline along with potential names like Ryan Dzingel and Mark Stone.
The Devils have already moved Brian Boyle and could look to trade Marcus Johansson who is set to be a FA and a veteran like Ben Lovejoy could also be moved. Detroit continues to be the dark horse for me with guys like Gustav Nyquist, Thomas Vanek and Andreas Athanasiou all possible piece to move.
TYLER YAREMCHUK: It’s much easier to predict what teams in the East are going to do. Ottawa will be this year’s big sellers given the quality of players they’re considering moving. Add the Red Wings, Devils, Panthers, Rangers and probably Flyers into that group as well. Other teams will be active, like Columbus and Carolina, but they won’t be what we traditionally call sellers.
WYATT ZIEGER: Again in the East, there are another 5 teams that are definite sellers; Ottawa, New Jersey, Columbus Detroit, and the Rangers. Teams like Florida and Philadelphia could join the list if they fall beyond 12 points out of the playoffs but both seem intent on being buyers at the deadline.
Ottawa has the two biggest trade chips in Duchene and Stone but also a plethora of other trade pieces most notably Dzingel and Ceci. It’ll be an interesting fire sale in the nation’s capital. New Jersey is a bit more intriguing because I question what pieces they want to move obviously Schnieder could be in play, but are they willing to part with Zajac, Palmieri or Johannson? Columbus is obvious in trying to move either Panarin, Bobrovsky or both. The market will decide there fate.
Detroit, of course, has a lot of rentals for playoff teams; Nyqvist, Vanek, Howard or Kronwall although they seem reluctant to deal Kronwall. The Rangers are an interesting team in the trade market because they have the most mid to upper range value players to deal. Kreider is having a career season, Hayes, Zuccarello, and Mcquaid are all rental for a contender and who knows if there are options on Henrik Lundqvist.
Which team do you think will make the biggest improvements at the deadline?
IAN SHEPPARD: Either the Islanders or Predators. The Avalanche also remain a possibility too with around $11 million in cap space and could look to add a forward for their second line. But the Islanders are hot right now and also have cap space with around $9 million and could look for that extra piece.
The Predators are in a tougher spot with cap space at around $6 million but this could be one of those years where to look to make that final leap and a few smart deals at the deadline could be exactly what they need to improve.
TYLER YAREMCHUK: The Winnipeg Jets. This is their last year before having to go through what will likely be salary cap hell with all of their RFA’s so I think we’ll see them push all of their chips in. They have a handful of ‘A-Level’ prospects that they could use as trade chips and they have their first and second rounders for the next three seasons. They can move two, or even three, quality assets and still be in good shape as far as their long-term future goes. I expect they’ll land one of Duchene or Stone and might be players on a good defenseman as well.
WYATT ZIEGER: I think Winnipeg is going to try to make the biggest splash and if they can land Mark Stone who’s been rumoured in trade talks with the Jets. The Jets are already one of the most complete teams, aside from Tampa but if they can get one more 30 goal scorer in their top 6 they would be a lethal force in the central division.
Winnipeg likely would make a couple depth moves as well and need to do so to solidify a win against most likely Nashville.
OUT OF JOHN STEVENS, JOEL QUENNEVILLE, MIKE YEO, AND TODD McLELLAN… WHICH FIRING SURPRISED YOU THE MOST?
TYLER YAREMCHUK: I have multiple answers to this. I didn’t think the LA Kings would start this bad, so in a sense, I was surprised that they have to can their coach as early as they did. Ditto for the St. Louis Blues. I figured if Joel Quenneville wasn’t fired over the offseason, they would hold onto him for the entire season, but I also understand why they did make the decision when they did.
I knew Todd McLellan was on thin ice but at the end of the day, the Oilers were still well within the playoff hunt when they canned him, so the timing of that one confused me the most. I though McLellan should have gotten until the end of this stretch of divisional games. So my answer, which doesn’t really answer the question, is that they all surprised me for different reasons.
WYATT ZIEGER: The writing was on the wall since last year that Stan Bowman was going to shoot Quenneville to save himself eventually. Mike Yeo has taken an above average roster and crashed the plane, although you could put a lot of blame on Jake Allen’s shoulders.
That leaves McLellan. I really thought that Todd would have a longer leash than he did but clearly Chiarelli is starting to feel the pressure and decided to make a coaching change. Hitchcock will come in and see what he can do with the roster that’s in front of him and he intends to keep Draisatl and McDavid together which is good news for Oilers fans.
IAN SHEPPARD: Joel Quenneville hands down. Sure, the Blackhawks have gotten off to a slow and disappointing start and they missed the playoffs last year but Quenneville has been one of the most successful coaches over the last 10 years.
With nine playoff appearances and three Stanley Cup Championships over the last decade, it seems to me Quenneville deserved than to be fired after 15 games this year. The team has some injuries this year and for a guy with his track record, I feel if the team was looking to move on the time to do it would have been in July purely out of respect.
WHICH OUT OF WORK COACH WILL FIND A JOB THE QUICKEST?
TYLER YAREMCHUK: The obvious answer is Quenville, but I’m not sure if he’s in a hurry to pick up a job in the middle of the season. If he waits until the summer, a more appealing job might open up and he would likely get to pick his own staff.
My pick is Alain Vigneualt. He has been unemployed for a decent stretch here, so one would imagine he’s itching to get back into the game. He’s a damn good coach who has brought two seperate teams to the Stanley Cup Finals over the last decade. He’ll be a great hire by whoever scoops him up.
WYATT ZIEGER: I’m going to go off the board and say Alain Vigneault whose been on the market since he was fired last April by the Rangers. He’s made the postseason in 11 of his 16 years coaching (11 of 15 if you don’t include the season he was fired 20 games in) I don’t think firing season is over either, you have to believe there’s a hot seat in Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Florida and New Jersey.
IAN SHEPPARD: The obvious choice is Quenneville, but something tells me he’s enjoying himself at Chicago Bears tailgate parties and may want to take the year off before getting back into coaching. So, my choice is McLellan and only because I think he will land a job as an assistant coach somewhere where he has ties.
Perhaps a reunion with Mike Babcock isn’t out of the question?
WHICH COACH WILL BE THE NEXT ONE FIRED?
TYLER YAREMCHUK: The Flyers have lost four in a row and play in a very tough Metro Division. If they keep slipping, they’ll need to make a change in a hurry to avoid falling helplessly out of the race. So my answer is Dave Hakstol.
WYATT ZIEGER: At this point its like cooking popcorn on the stovetop and guessing which piece is going to pop first, my point is there are about half a dozen coaches that are all going to pop.
If I had to choose a coach that I think should be fired though, that’s Randy Carlyle. Carlyle is the kind of coach that players tune out after a while hence why he’s been fired twice (once already by Anaheim in 11-12).
At 9-9-5 the Ducks can’t afford to keep losing games if they want to stay in the hunt and make no mistake, Anaheim is in the hunt only because of goaltending, primarily John Gibson. The Ducks need a new voice in the locker room and someone who will up their pace of play.
IAN SHEPPARD: I’ll think outside of the box and say Jeff Blashill. Not because of how the team is performing but because I think the time is looming where Steve Yzerman takes over for a retiring Ken Holland. Stevie Y will want his own guy behind the bench and perhaps a name like Quenneville or even an old assistant coach from the Wings glory days, like Todd McLellan peaks the fancy of the former captain.
Lot’s of hypotheticals to go with this pick need to play out but who doesn’t love the idea of Yzerman taking over the Wings front office and putting together a great young team? Talk about an amazing story!
Every Friday, three of BTI’s writers get together and share their thoughts on three topics from around the NHL
The 2018 NHL entry draft will be hosted in Dallas, at the American Airlines Center, June 22nd.
Even though the show will be in the heart of Texas, the night belongs to Buffalo. With the 1st overall pick the Sabres will undoubtedly select Swedish defensemen Rasmus Dahlin, but what about the rest of the picks in the top 15?
Buffalo Sabres, Round 1-1st overall
With their first pick, in the first round, the Buffalo Sabres select: Rasmus Dahlin.
TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button has called Dahlin ‘the Connor McDavid of defensemen.’ The highly coveted Swedish D-man is considered a generational talent is drawing comparisons to the likes of Nick Lidstrom and Scott Niedermeyer. He is the total package.
Mix in his hockey sense with his shot, vision, recovery and passing, and you have the number 1 pick this year. The only knock on the 6’2” 180LBS 18 years old is just that. He will need to put on 10-15 pounds of muscle to reach his full potential in the NHL. With his work ethic and dedication to the game, I don’t see that being a problem. Rasmus Dahlin will be a force on defence in the NHL for years to come.
Following the belle of the ball is the Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadians. The Canes were big-time lottery winners moving up from 11th to 2nd. The Montreal Canadians moved from 4th to 3rd. Carolina is rumoured to be interested in moving down but if they do, they’re missing out on a chance to grab an excellent player.
Carolina Hurricanes, Round 1-2nd overall
Russian winger Andrei Svechnikov is the most talented forward in this draft. If Dahlin is the consensus #1, then Svechnikov is a lock a two. The 1st overall pick in 2017’s import draft was an immediate mover and shaker for the OHL’s Barrie Colts. Playing in only 44 games this year he managed 40 goals and 32 assists good for 1.63PPG. He is a pure scorer with his shot strength and accuracy and will likely be the leading goal scorer to come out of the draft. Carolina with new ownership should look to build around Svechnikov the same way they did Jeff Skinner but hopefully with more overall success.
Montreal Canadiens, Round 1-3rd overall
The Montreal Canadiens are in a bit of a predicament. After a trade to Arizona that sent Alex Galchenyuk to the Coyotes for Max Domi, the Habs are somehow thinner than they already were at the centre. As of today, the depth chart at centre is Jonathan Drouin, who has yet to prove that he’s not a winger and Phillip Danault, who at his full potential is a 40 point player.
This is also a draft considered low on centres, and at #3 the Habs should roll the dice on what could be the most dynamic forward in this draft, Jesperi Kotkaniemi. No player has had made bigger leaps through the pre-draft rankings this season. TSN’s Bob McKenzie had Kotkaniemi ranked 19th at the mid season point. Since then he has skyrocketed all the way into the top 5 and consistently draws comparisons to players like Anze Kopitar, Alexander Barkov and Mark Scheiffle.
At 6’2″ he adds size to and skill to an otherwise smaller lineup in Montreal and while there is risk associated with selecting Kotkaniemi, whoever takes the chance won’t regret it.
The Ottawa Senators owned the 2nd highest chance of drafting 1st overall but slid down to 4th after the lottery. They have the option to send their 1st round pick this year or next to the Avalanche as part of the Duchene deal.
Ottawa Senators, Round 1-4th overall
They won’t flip this years pick to Colorado but will instead draft the 6’3” defensemen from Acadia Bathurst, Noah Dobson. Dobson is arguably the 2nd best defensemen in this draft behind the all-mighty Rasmus Dahlin. Drafting Dobson will give Sen’s fans hope for the future as they watch Erik Karlsson’s time in Ottawa draw to a close. Dobson showed his offensive side this year collecting 69 points in 67 games, including 17 goals. He also racked up 13 more points in 20 games leading his team to the Memorial Cup.
Arizona Coyotes, Round 1-5th overall
Filip Zadina is the most highly touted prospect to come from the Halifax Mooseheads since 2013 when Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin were drafted 1st and 3rd overall respectively (sorry Nico Hischier). The Czech born winger scored 44 goals and 38 assists for the Mooseheads last year.
To make it in the NHL, Zadina needs to work on his skating. While he has the speed, he does not have today’s NHL speed. The promising winger could be NHL ready by the start of training camp, but the Coyotes who are in a stacked Pacific will be looking for all the help they can get.
Zadina joins an impressive prospect pool in Arizona that includes; Clayton Keller, Dylan Strome, Christian Dvorak and Jakob Chychrun.
With hardly any separation of skill between the rest of the pack, things get harder to predict. Outside of the top 5 (maybe even top 2), nothing is guaranteed, with that in mind lets go through picks 6-15.
Detroit Red Wings, Round 1-6th overall
With the man they most likely wanted off the board, Noah Dobson, the Red Wings will look to stay with a D-man and select Quinn Hughes from the University of Michigan. He plays a very up-tempo offensive game and would be knocked for his D if not for always having the puck on his stick. Hometown addition doesn’t hurt fill some seats in the new arena.
Vancouver Canucks, Round 1-7th overall
Sliding down the draft board to #7 is Brady Tkachuk, known for the same style of play like his dad and brother, Brady could be an immediate impact player. Outside of the hopeful Elias Pettersson, the Canucks lack depth on the left side and Tkachuk finds himself a divisional rival to his brother.
Chicago Blackhawks, Round 1-8th overall
From youtube sensation to NHL-draft-pick Oliver Wahlstrom has impressed in his three years with the USHL. This most recent year he blew his old stats out of the water racking up 45 points in just 25 games. The Blackhawks have built dynasties from drafting before, and it’s time to get back at it if they have any hope of winning again.
New York Rangers, Round 1-9th overall
The Rangers are no longer in a win now mode and need to take the best player available. While they would love a winger or centre to draft 9th, the best talent available is defensemen at this spot in the draft. So without further ado, the Rangers draft Swedish stud, Adam Boqvist. Boqvist will be a bit of a project, listed anywhere from 150-165 pounds he will need to put on significant weight before making the NHL.
Edmonton Oilers, Round 1-10th overall
If the Oilers decide to hold onto their pick at ten, they’ll have plenty of options. This is most likely the last top 10 pick the Oilers will own for the next 15+ years, so they need to make it count. Defensive depth is a need for the Oilers, the cupboards are nearly empty in the farm, apart from Ethan Bear who likely won’t make the full-time NHL jump until 2019-20.
Evan Bouchard fills that hole for the Oilers. The highest scoring defensemen in this year’s draft Bouchard put up 87 points in the OHL last season the most since Anthony DeAngelo in 2014-15. The only question with Bouchard is if his offence in junior will translate to the NHL, he put up 25 goals for the London Knights last season.
New York Islanders, Round 1-11th overall-VIA Calgary
The Islanders hold the 11th, and 12th picks in this years draft, the former acquired in a trade with Calgary for Travis Hamonic.
The Islanders have plenty of Talent at forward, John Tavares (pending UFA), Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle, the list goes on, now its time for a defenseman.
With three pending UFA’s on defence, Calvin de Haan, Thomas Hickey and Dennis Seidenberg it’s hard to see the Islanders re-signing all three. They likely let Seidenberg walk and will have to choose between one of de Haan or Hickey.
With the 11th pick, the Islanders draft Ty Smith from the Spokane Chiefs as a long-term solution on D. His 14 goals in the WHL most likely won’t hold up in the NHL, but the potential is there.
Washington Capitals, Round 1-12th overall-VIA NYI
You heard it here first folks, aside from defence the Islanders also require goaltending, and that’s why they’ll flip their 12th overall selection in this year’s draft to acquire goaltender Philipp Grubauer.
With their 12th overall selection the Capitals choose more depth at centre and draft Joe Veleno, formerly with St. Johns, he was traded to the Drummondville Voltigeurs where he put up 48 points in 33 games.
Dallas Stars, Round 1-13th overall
Dallas has the defence; they hope they have goaltending, now all they needed is scoring depth. The Stars have been burned when it comes to drafting Russians before IE Valeri Nichuskin, but that shouldn’t stop them from taking Vitali Kravtsov. Coming off a steller KHL playoffs where he scored 11 points in 16 games, Kravtsov tied the record for most KHL playoff goals by a rookie with six, (Previously held alone by Nichuskin) doing so in nine fewer games.
Philadelphia Flyers, Round 1-14th overall-VIA St.Louis Blues
Acquired in the deal that sent Brayden Schenn to St.Louis this is the last unknown piece of the trade left. GM Ron Hextall has said in the past that Philly would likely take a right-shot D in this year’s draft and with a plethora of good D in the draft he has his options. For my money, the Flyers take the player that best suites their needs at 14, Bode Wilde. Another product from the USHL, he owns a hard shot, works well in all three zones and can make a great first stretch pass. Philly jumps ahead of more skilled players to take their man.
Florida Panthers, Round 1-15th overall
Fresh off a trade for the controversial Mike Hoffman, it seems as if scoring won’t be a problem for the Panthers this season. Any piece added during the draft likely won’t see NHL playing time without a tremendous camp. So, at 15 there are still plenty of options left, but the most upside has to be Rasmus Kupuri. Centres are always valued more than wingers and with already established Finnish centre Sasha Barkov to learn from, Kupari could find his way into the Panthers top 6 for years to come.
That’s a wrap on my projected top 15 draftees this year, Dahlin and Svechnikov are the real guarantees, and there are a plethora of players taken in this draft that will go on to have NHL success. The Islanders may finally get the goaltending they’ve been hoping for, Philly adds to their prospect pool and Dallas doesn’t regret drafting a Russian this time round.
Barret Hayton C
Ryan Merkley RD
Joel Farabee LW
Rasmus Sandin LD
Jonathon Berggren C/LW
Welcome to the inaugural AJHL Weekly here on BTI!
I’ll be your host, Liam Horrobin, the one who’ll be delivering all the latest news coming out of the AJHL each Sunday night.
It was a quiet week across Alberta, but even with that being said, we had more news than we’ve had in previous weeks which means we’re only getting closer to puck drop.
The majority of this week’s stories came from Southern Alberta and even one from a US Junior hockey league which involved a trio of AJHL players.
The biggest story came out just a few hours again which is where we will start out.
NBC & NBCSN recently released their NHL broadcasting schedule for the upcoming season and honestly, it’s a schedule filled with errors and incompetence.
We are now coming into the month of May and are starting up the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
For many teams, their post-season will consist of many rounds of golf down in sunny Florida.
Thomas Vanek is one NHLer who is getting used to being traded. The 13-year veteran was dealt at the trade deadline back in 2014 to the Canadians and became an essential part of their playoff run that season. During his brief time in Montreal, Vanek put together 15 points in 18 regular seasons games. Along with that, he also scored 10 points in 17 playoff games which will make him extremely appealing to playoff bound teams.
Since joining the Red Wings this off-season, Vanek has become an important part of Detroit’s offence. Despite only playing 36 games, the Austrian is currently second on the Red Wings roster with 31 points and is second on the team in power-play points with seven.
Vanek has openly come out and said that he has no desire to leave Detroit at the deadline, but for a player of his ability, he will be a much-wanted asset. He will also become a free agent this coming off-season.
These next three teams would really benefit from the offensive threat that Thomas Vanek brings to the ice.
The Senators are sitting second in the Atlantic division and have played for games less than Boston who are in third place. A pretty crazy stat for the Sens right now is that they have only scored two more goals than they have conceded. It may seem like Ottawa have terrible goaltending but that is not the case, they actually rank sixth in goals-against. Vanek could be the missing piece that Ottawa need to make a run since they have only scored 123 goals this season. If Ottawa were to make a move for Vanek, as of right now he would have their best points per game numbers with 0.84. The Red Wings forward would slide nicely right into the Sens roster and would be a welcome addition to their average power-play.
Boston is in the same situation as the Ottawa Senators, excellent goaltending but a below average offence. For a team that has the worst offence amongst teams in playoff spots, an inform winger like Thomas Vanek will bolster their playoffs chances. The Bruins are clearly suffering from the loss of Loui Eriksson but Vanek is in significantly better form than Eriksson this season so maybe Boston could see the move as an upgrade. The Austrian would fit in perfectly on the Bruins second line alongside David Krejci and David Backes; he could even help Backes get back to his normal self. It may be tough for the Bruins to acquire Vanek due to them being in the eastern conference.
The Predators have a roster with plenty of talent, yet only four players have more than 10 goals this year. Luckily for them, they do have enough depth scoring to keep them going with eight skaters with 20 points or more. As the Preds would love to add a natural goalscorer to their roster, Vanek would be a great answer. If Vanek was to join this team right now he would only trail Ryan Johansen (36) and Flip Forsberg (32) in points whilst playing 12 games less than both of them. Bringing in Vanek would give Nashville a legitimate scoring threat on their top three lines.