The NHL season has begun, and there are lots of moves being made still while each team figures out what is working and what isn’t for their roster. With lots of moving parts in the background, there are numerous NHL rumours as a result. Today we will be looking at NHL rumours surrounding the Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, and the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
Rumour: According to Elliotte Friedman in 31 Thoughts, the Chicago Blackhawks are looking at Swedish goaltender Arvid Soderblom.
Analysis: Soderblom is a 21-year-old goaltender currently playing in Sweden. With his contract running until 2021-22, he’ll be playing there for a little bit still. But as a young goalie, he has performed well, posting a 0.922 save percentage through 17 games this season in the SHL. Friedman suggests that a few teams are looking at Soderblom, as they should. Friedman lists Chicago by name, however.
Chicago should absolutely be looking at Soderblom, as their goaltending is not what it once was. After trading Robin Lehner at the deadline last season, and longtime goalie Corey Crawford left in free agency (then promptly retired), the Blackhawks have a real need in that area. With the Blackhawks building for the future, if they were to land such a young goalie, it would be the near-perfect piece to help the rebuild. The Blackhawks should be scrambling to bring Sooderblom in when the chance becomes available.
Rumour: With Sam Bennett being scratched for the game against the Winnipeg Jets, this could be a precursor to a trade, according to Elliotte Friedman.
Elliotte Friedman on WGR550 says he thinks the Sam Bennett trade situation has heated up and him being healthy scratched could be related
— J (@Account4hockey) February 4, 2021
Analysis: Sam Bennett has been disappointing ever since he was taken 4th overall by the Flames in 2014. Bennett has asked for a trade out of Calgary. While it’s been rumoured the Flames are in no rush to trade Bennett, that could all change in an instant with a single phone call. With him being held out of the game, it could be a precautionary thing to ensure he is not injured prior to a deal being finalized. This is to not jeopardize a trade with Bennett being out for a period of time.
The Flames will never get out what they put into Bennett (a fourth overall draft pick), but they could look to get a decent return for him. On the other side, Bennett is clearly not happy in Calgary. The team that ends up trading for Bennett may see a reclamation project in him. It could go well like with Chicago and Dylan Strome. Or it could turn into nothing like Nail Yakupov and the St. Louis Blues. This has yet to be seen. Should a trade happen, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Bennett be happy with a fresh start.
2021 NHL Entry Draft
Rumour: Darren Dreger said on Insider Trading that the NHL could push back the draft for 2021 to as late as 2022.
— theScore NHL (@theScoreNHL) February 5, 2021
Analysis: It’s unsurprising to hear that the NHL is looking to push back the draft. The OHL has yet to start games, with other leagues only having limited playtime. This, combined with a lack of travel allowed to view games due to COVID-19 leads to a lack of information for teams. This will then allow for another year for development that players wouldn’t have previously gotten. This will be beneficial for all parties involved, it seems.
Dreger stated, “There’s lots of talk across the National Hockey League about the draft being pushed from 2021 – this summer – to 2022 – the summer – and the NHL hosting back-to-back drafts.” This would be interesting to see, however, it raises a few questions. Will NHL teams be able to trade 2021 draft picks all the way up until 2022? What about a Seattle team that could potentially make immediate use out of their top draft pick playing on their roster? There will be lots of details to work out. It would sure make for an interesting week for NHL GMs, though.
That concludes today’s NHL rumours!
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