Brandon Saad, LW & RW, Chicago Blackhawks:
The Chicago Blackhawks are currently only four points behind the team holding the second wildcard spot in the NHL’s Western Conference with one game in hand.
Depending on what happens in the next two weeks leading up to the deadline, Chicago could either be buyers or sellers. Either way, I think the Islanders could make a move for winger Brandon Saad.
Saad, 27, has been a consistent goal scorer in the NHL, hovering around the 20-goal mark every season since his second full season. His career-high for goals is 31 and has posted at least 50 points in a season three times in his nine-year career.
So far this year. Saad has played in 43 games and has scored 16 goals and 25 points.
Saad doesn’t have any powerplay points this season, but he has had two seasons where he’s scored at least five powerplay goals. So if the Islanders trade for him, he can be placed on the powerplay if needed.
He’s also very good defensively, having more takeaways than giveaways every season but one. Having two shorthanded goals this season, Saad would be a great addition to the New York Islanders penalty kill.
I know that the Blackhawks are currently in a playoff push, but they may be looking to unload Saad and his $6 million cap hit this season as he has a modified no-trade clause next year.
With Chicago having to re-sign expiring players like young winger, Alex DeBrincat, and former Islanders goalie, Robin Lehner, they will have to clear some cap space. Moving Saad this deadline will be much easier because he doesn’t have the modified no-trade clause yet.
Because of the year of control left on Saad’s contract, the Blackhawks will want more than they would if he was a rental. This will probably include a first-round pick and a couple of NHL-ready prospects, like defenseman Sebastian Aho.