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NHL Notebook: Oilers defenceman Phillip Broberg top trade chip prospect, and Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard feels ready to return from broken jaw
18 days ago
The NHL trade deadline of March 8th is quickly approaching, and the potential fate of prospects hangs in the balance of their respective organizations. One of those prospects that could be a trade possibility is Edmonton Oilers defenceman Philip Broberg.
With teams beginning to weigh their short-term gains against long-term potential, Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis has predicted 10 prospects that could potentially be on the move come deadline day and Broberg is one of the top trade chips in conversation.
Broberg hasn’t found a consistent footing in the NHL to secure him a steady roster spot, and in December, the club sent him down to the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors, where he’s shone since. The Oilers drafted the six-foot-three defenceman as the eighth overall selection in 2019, but he has spent a handful of time throughout the past three seasons with the Oilers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors.
As expected of any prospect, his skills and performance have certainly improved. Still, it may not be enough to see Broberg fit as a long-term solution on the Oilers’ blueline.
Here’s what Ellis wrote about Broberg:
Drafted eighth overall in 2019, the pick was puzzling at the time, and it hasn’t aged all too well – especially with Trevor Zegras going ninth. He’s a talented two-way defenseman with a big 6-foot-3 frame and an excellent AHLer with Bakersfield. But he hasn’t figured how to stay relevant in the NHL, bouncing between the two leagues over the past three seasons. Defensively, Broberg’s game has seen some improvement over time, but I’m not sure it’s enough to get too excited about.The Oilers are the hottest team in the NHL right now. I don’t see a situation where Broberg becomes a long-term solution on the blueline. He could be a trade chip, allowing Broberg to get a fresh start somewhere else. There’s potential for him to become an everyday NHLer sooner rather than later, but it might not be in Alberta.Edmonton needs to go all-out to get Connor McDavid a Stanley Cup. Leave no stone unturned here.
Not only would a trade involving Broberg give him a chance to have a fresh start with the potential to become an everyday NHLer, but it could help the team, who is hungry for their first Stanley Cup Championship in over 30 years, to get a decent return.
Ellis named nine other plays alongside Broberg, who may be a suitable trade chip in the upcoming deadline.
Winnipeg Jets’ defenceman Ville Heinola and Los Angeles Kings forward Alex Turcotte have both been players who have dealt with the challenges due to injuries and logjams in roster spots but could have the opportunity to thrive elsewhere if their organizations choose to move them.
Colorado Avalanches’ Oskar Olausson and Golden Knights’ Malayas Sapovaliv are two prospects who could be valuable for the Avalanche and Golden Knights to capitalize on their potential and bring additional depth to the deadline.
Seamus Casey of the New Jersey Devils and Scott Morrow of the Carolina Hurricanes are two blueliners who could help their teams pursue additional assets and tend to specific needs, such as the Devils’ goaltending situation.
Trade rumours have already surrounded Jonatan Berggren of the Detroit Red Wings, and the organization may take the trade deadline opportunity to make some decisions regarding their postseason prospects.
Then there’s the Nashville Predators Yaroslav Askarov, who has the potential to make a significant mark on NHL in the coming years. Given his outstanding goaltending performance in the AHL, he’d make for a valuable trade piece. Still, the Predators may consider exploring other options, such as Juuse Saros.
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Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard feels ready to return from broken jaw
Chicago Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard patiently anticipates his return to the NHL, but he’s allowing the medical professionals to have the final say.
On Saturday, Bedard accompanied the Sportsnet panel ahead of the puck drop for the NHL All-Star Game and gave an update on his current injury.
“No specific date (for a return),” Bedard said. “Just gotta see how it’s looking, but I feel good and I feel ready. If it were up to me, I would’ve been back, but of course gotta make sure it’s healed and make sure you’re not risking anything out there.”
The first overall pick of the 2023 NHL Draft was off to a remarkable start to the season, recording 15 goals and 33 points across 39 games, leading all rookies in both goals and points.
However, in an unfortunate turn of events during the Blackhawks vs New Jersey Devils game on Jan. 5th, Bedard was hit by Devils defenceman Brendan Smith suffering a broken jaw on the play. The injury came just one day after Bedard was announced as the Blackhawks’ lone representative at the All-Star Game, making him the youngest All-Star in NHL history.
Bedard began skating on Jan. 15th, just a week after his surgery, but remains sidelined from any contact or straining exertion.
He wasn’t completely left out of the All-Star game festivities, as he was a guest passer for the one-timers challenge as part of the Skills Competition.
“Just watching these guys is a lot of fun. Obviously, being in Toronto, a pretty big hockey market, it’s cool to see the turnout. It’s fun,” Bedard added.
“Of course, you want to be (playing in the All-Star Game), but I’m grateful to be here and I get to enjoy it.”
Although no specific date has been announced, the timeline for the injury to heal was six to eight weeks. Although that may not change anytime soon, neither will Bedard’s drive to get back to scoring goals.
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