In our continuing look at possible additions at the trade deadline, we arrive at the Northern Division. A bunch of Canadian teams and some outstanding talent that could shake loose at the deadline or in summer.
Last year’s looks:
- Atlantic Division (mentions Colin Miller and Jordan Weal)
- East Division (many interesting players a year ago)
- North Division (Grigorenko and a couple others moved)
- West Division (Marincin)
- Northeast Division (Reinhart, Dano)
- Midwest Division (Danault, Sproul)
BUFFALO (ROCHESTER AMERICANS)
- D Mark Pysyk. Former Edmonton Oil Kings defender has progressed nicely at the pro level, despite injury issues. Although he has played in 100 NHL games, Pysyk has had a hard time staying in the NHL lineup. He is a righty, 24, and can move the puck well.
- C Philip Varone. Received a callup after the Daniel Catenacci injury, he has some offensive ability (26 points in 38 AHL games this year) but is undersized and 25.
MONTREAL (ST. JOHN’S ICECAPS)
- L Charles Hudon. His boxcars (45gp, 15-18-33) are interesting and he is just 21. He was second in team scoring a year ago and once again is among the leaders this year. Undersized but he appears to be a player (don’t know about foot speed).
- R Max Friberg. Skill winger from Sweden, acquired from the deep Anaheim Ducks system in the Dustin Tokarski trade. Edmonton and Montreal do plenty of business in recent months, perhaps this player is of interest.
- R Daniel Carr. Got his NHL chance and flourished, clearly a player with skill despite lack of size and pedigree. Montreal may see him as a solution for themselves long term (he is currently injured) but he is a name worth remembering.
NEW JERSEY (ALBANY DEVILS)
- D Vojtech Mozik: Czech defender had some impressive seasons back home, he is rated as a pretty good power-play defenseman who can move the puck. He is 6.02, 189 and 23 years old.
- L Reid Boucher. Undersized winger looks like a tweener, but you never know. He is 22 and scored at close to a point-per-game before his recall to New Jersey.
OTTAWA (BINGHAMPTON SENATORS)
- L Matt Puempel. The Senators appear to favor Shane Prince but I bet Puempel has a career, too. Scored 30 as an AHL rookie and per 82gp at that level is averaging 29 tallies. Ottawa drafts and develops very well, he would be a nice add for a team like Edmonton, who will be looking for inexpensive complementary scorers.
- L Nick Paul. I am including him because he is a Peter Chiarelli-type player (big, two-way forward), but Paul is just 20 and in his first pro season (most organizations don’t trade these guys until they know who they are). Would be exactly the player-type Chiarelli is no doubt looking for right now.
TAMPA BAY (SYRACUSE CRUNCH)
- C Tanner Richard. Leads the Crunch in scoring (although they do not score much) and plays a gritty game. He is yet to play in an NHL, but at 22 should make it soon.
- L Jonathan Drouin. Insanity that his career is now here, but this is a supreme offensive talent and worth following at the deadline and into summer.
TORONTO (TORONTO MARLIES)
- D Frank Corrado. He is having a weird career, getting claimed on waivers and then not playing for long stretches. Still, he has skill and may have a career (he is just 22) and can move the puck well. Slightly undersized, he is a righty.
- L Nikita Soshnikov. Young Russian winger has 17 goals already and looks like he might fit into the North American style well. He is 5.11, 185, I included him because no one ever talks about him but there appears to be a story (Toronto has a very famous minor league team due to slow playing some outstanding prospects).
VANCOUVER (UTICA COMETS)
- C Brendan Gaunce. This is a nice player. Gaunce has size, skill and is a responsible forward. His spike offensively year-over-year (.391 to .714) is encouraging. No idea if he would be available, but the Canucks do not have good luck in development—this appears to be an exception.
Up Next: Atlantic Division.
(Friberg photo by Mark Williams)