There’s been a lot of talk about the weakness in the free agent market and how difficult it is for teams to find options if they’re looking to bolster the top ends of their roster, whether up front, in defense or in net. The center position can be even worse, with your few options being former front-row centers in Jonathan Toews, Jordan Staal and Ryan O’Reilly, or the six middle centers coming off strong years in JT Compher or Max Domi.
This could create even higher prices in the trade market for centers, a market that looks a little more promising in terms of high-end quality. Frank Seravalli and Mike McKenna spoke about what could happen in the central trading market on Daily Faceoff Live.
Frank Seravalli: Philadelphia Flyers’ Scott Laughton is rumored to get a first-round pick for essentially what’s a back-six center. I think Laughton is the perfect third line center. What do you think?
Mike McKenna: You hit him, he’s a perfect third-line cross, so if you’re looking for a number one or two, it’s pretty limited. Even JT Compher, who is probably the best unrestricted free agent, is a two at best. Ryan O’Reilly is always a two.
So yes, if you need a big dog to run number one for you, you kinda look at Pierre-Luc Dubois and Mark Scheifele…
Frank Seravalli: And Elias Lindholm!
Mike McKenna: And Lindholm is there, it’s true.
Frank Seravalli: It’s actually been a pretty decent year. It’s going to be expensive, but there are at least some guys available that you could rank in this category as number one.
Mike McKenna: And that’s where I think the trading market is really where you look. It seems to me that everything is going in this direction.
Frank Seravalli: A viewer mentioned that Lindholm is going to Colorado, is that a real possibility or just a rumor? I think everything is on the table for the Avs. They’ll probably want to be pretty aggressive, especially with Gabriel Landeskog and that money.
You can watch the full episode here…