NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Oilers, Flyers, Blackhawks

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, two college free agents will be making big choices when it comes to their NHL futures. Will Matthew Knies sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs and is Carter Savoie going to sign a deal with the Edmonton Oilers?

Morning Skate newsletter Click To Subscribe

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Flyers have to make a decision on Travis Konecny, while the Chicago Blackhawks need to formulate a plan around Dylan Strome.

Maple Leafs to Meet With Knies

As per a report by TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Maple Leafs are set to meet with prospect Matthew Knies in the next day or two now that his college season is now over. There was talk he would make an immediate jump to the NHL but Dreger reports a decision has not been made yet. There is the sense that he’ll return to school.

Matthew Knies University of Minnesota
Matthew Knies, University of Minnesota (Image courtesy of University of Minnesota Athletics)

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also reports that Knies to Toronto isn’t a slam dunk. Friedman noted during the 32 Thoughts segment on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday. “Toronto and Knies are going to meet over the next couple of days to discuss his future. He’s ready and they would like to have him. Here’s the issue: He’s got unfinished business.”

Some fans in Toronto don’t love the idea that Knies might elect to hold off on joining the Leafs, but Friedman notes, “I don’t think this is a situation at all where the Maple Leafs are worried that they cannot sign him long-term.” It’s more that Knies knows his University of Minnesota team is going to be good again next season and they’ll have a legitimate shot to win a National Championship.

Oilers Close to Signing Savoie

Speaking of college stars, reports are that the Oilers are close to inking 5-foot-9, 192-pound left-winger Carter Savoie to an entry-level deal. Savoie, 20, had 23 goals and 22 assists for 45 points in 38 games for Denver and his team just won the National Championships.

Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek said during the same 32 Thoughts segment, “Question is, does he go back to his junior year or does he turn pro? We expect him to come out of college, forgo the junior year, it is certainly heading in that direction and that’s the expectation that at the end of all of this, Carter Savoie will be a member of the Edmonton Oilers.”

Konecny’s Future with the Flyers

As Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported following the NHL Trade Deadline, Flyers’ GM Chuck Fletcher had conversations involving Travis Konecny and there was some thought the team might trade him. A deal ultimately never materialized but there might have been some conversations started that could continue at a later date.

Related: Canadiens News and Rumors: Price, Drouin, Gallagher, Koivu, and More

It is now being said that Konecny’s play over the last few weeks of the season could determine what happens with him in the offseason. Can he play well enough to avoid having the Flyers look at trading him or will they try to give him a fresh start somewhere else?

Latest on Dylan Strome

Daily Faceoff also writes that Dylan Strome’s future could be dependent on how he ends this season. He’s been much more consistent since being reunited with Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat, and if the Blackhawks believe he can keep up this kind of production if he stays on that line, the organization could choose to offer him a long-term extension.

But, if the Blackhawks aren’t convinced this is really what Strome is all about, they have the option to decline his $3.6-million qualifying offer and let him walk as a UFA. The report notes, “That seems unlikely given how well he’s played of late, however. He’s shown enough value to be a trade asset if he’s not part of the team’s long-term plans, so it wouldn’t make much sense to let him walk for nothing.”