The Chicago Blackhawks are expected to be one of the busiest teams at the trade deadline, as they are in a full-on rebuild and have several pending unrestricted free agents (UFA). Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Max Domi, and Andreas Athanasiou are some of the notable names expected to be on the move, but another under-the-radar player we should keep an eye on is Jarred Tinordi.
Since he was claimed off of waivers from the New York Rangers at the beginning of the season, Tinordi has quietly been solid for Chicago. In 18 games, he already set a new career-high in goals (2) and has four points. Yet, his biggest impact is on the physical side of the game; he is third in the NHL with 75 hits. All of this and his $900,000 cap hit could make him an appealing trade target for contenders looking for a bit more depth and toughness.
Here’s a look at three potential landing spots for Tinordi.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The injury bug is destroying the Toronto Maple Leafs’ defense, and it’s only getting worse. After losing Jake Muzzin long-term and T.J. Brodie, star defenseman Morgan Rielly is now expected to be out for the next four to six weeks due to a knee injury. As a result, the Maple Leafs would be wise to add to their defensive depth as soon as possible.
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Although Tinordi is not at the same skill level as Rielly, Muzzin, and Brodie, he is a serviceable NHL defenseman who could be a short-term fix and could compete for a spot on their bottom pairing. Since he can play both sides, he could be a decent replacement for either Mac Hollowell or Jordie Benn, and his defense-first style could allow him to get some minutes on the penalty kill as well.
If Tinordi continues to play as he has been, the Blackhawks could land a fifth-round pick and prospect for him. Perhaps an American Hockey League (AHL) defenseman like Matthew Hellickson would interest the Blackhawks. In nine games this season with the Toronto Marlies, the 24-year-old has an assist.
New York Islanders
The New York Islanders are having a solid bounce-back season. After failing to make the playoffs in 2021-22, they have a 12-8-0 record and are third in the Metropolitan Division. However, in a competitive division, it would be wise for them to make additions soon. The left side of their defensive group could use a bit more depth, and Tinordi might be a worthy trade target.
At worst, Tinordi would be a strong seventh defenseman option for the Islanders. However, I’d argue that he could end up being a decent, short-term upgrade over young defensemen like Sebastian Aho and Robin Salo. Although he doesn’t have the same offensive upside as those two, his experience and reliable play in the defensive zone would make him a welcome addition to the Islanders roster.
Blackhawks general manager (GM) Kyle Davidson could have interest in Dennis Cholowski. The 2016 first-round pick is currently playing for New York’s AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Islanders, where he has five assists in 12 games. Although he has not been able to cement himself into an NHL lineup yet, a move to the rebuilding Blackhawks could help change that.
St. Louis Blues
After an abysmal eight-game losing streak, the St. Louis Blues have won seven straight and are right back in the playoff hunt. With their 10-8-0 record, they rank fourth in the Central Division and are three points behind the Winnipeg Jets. They have shown signs of being possible contenders, but that losing streak is an indication that they should add depth. With left-shot defensemen Marco Scandella and Scott Perunovich out long-term, perhaps the Blues should make a push to acquire Tinordi.
Since the Blues are dealing with several injuries on defense, Tinordi could compete for a spot on their bottom pairing. However, if St. Louis wanted to continue running with players like Niko Mikkola and Tyler Tucker in their top six, Tinordi would also be a good extra option to have around. Furthermore, Tinordi would be a clear candidate to receive time on the penalty kill.
If the Blues want to add to their depth without giving up too much, Tinordi would be a decent option at the deadline, and a fifth-round pick and mid-tier prospect could get this deal done. Perhaps Keean Washkurak would make sense in this move.
Nevertheless, Tinordi’s solid play since joining the Blackhawks is starting to make him one of their trade candidates. These three teams could certainly use him, so we will have to wait and see if the 6-foot-6 shutdown defenseman ends up joining one of them from here.
Michael DeRosa is a contributor who covers the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, & Detroit Red Wings for The Hockey Writers. Since 2017, he’s written and edited for numerous websites. Besides his work for THW, you can also find him on NHL Trade Rumors.