For the second time in two months, Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff noted that the Chicago Blackhawks are open to moving young forward Henrik Borgstrom. It’s a bit of a strange development, as the Blackhawks just acquired him from the Florida Panthers last spring. Shortly after, they signed him to a two-year, $2 million extension. Yet, less than a year later, he now can be deemed as another potential trading piece for Chicago.
In 23 games this season, Borgstrom has two goals, three assists, and a minus-7 rating. Needless to say, it hasn’t been an amazing campaign for him. However, he also showed promise during the 2018-19 season when he had eight goals and 18 points in 50 games with the Florida Panthers. Perhaps the 2016 first-round pick can produce like this again or even more playing elsewhere. Here are four teams who could be potential fits for him.
The Anaheim Ducks have been such a pleasant surprise this season. At this juncture, they have a 19-13-7 record and are second in the Pacific Division. Yet, the rising Ducks have been cooling off lately, as they are 4-4-2 in their last ten games. With this, the Ducks could potentially benefit from adding to their roster and a player like Borgstrom wouldn’t cost them too much at all.
Although the Ducks have had a nice run this year, it’s fair to say that they are still rebuilding. Therefore, adding a former first-round pick who may have good upside wouldn’t be a bad gamble for them to take. Their forward group isn’t necessarily the strongest, either, so adding more competition to it could also be beneficial. He also would work nicely on the team’s third line, as he can play both center and left wing.
Detroit Red Wings
Similar to the Ducks, the Detroit Red Wings have been exceeding initial expectations this season. They currently possess a 16-16-5 record and trail the Boston Bruins by five points in the Wild Card standings. They have played four more games than them, but with the season still being young, they shouldn’t be counted out yet. They aren’t in a position to make a big rental acquisition given their current state, but Borgstrom could be an intriguing low-gamble add.
Borgstrom has one year left on his current deal after this season. Once it expires, he will also still be a restricted free agent. In a hypothetical situation where he is moved to Detroit and succeeds, he’d still be under team control during future extension talks. This fact could truly interest a rebuilding team like the Red Wings, but especially when remembering that he still can improve as a player from here. When looking at Detroit’s lineup, he could potentially fit on their third line as well.
The Montreal Canadiens could use any help they can get right about now. They not only have dealt with serious injury trouble all season, but also a plethora of COVID-19 cases. Due to this and multiple key players leaving during the offseason, they now have a 7-24-4 record and are destined to embark on a rebuild. Even with all of this being the case, when observing how decimated their current roster is, it wouldn’t be bad to add a player like Borgstrom. This is especially true with his value not being the highest.
Again, like with the two other teams above, Borgstrom’s potential upside could be enough for Montreal to be intrigued by him. Montreal’s forward depth is also the weakest out of the bunch, so the Helsinki native could be given the opportunity of having a bigger role if traded there. At a minimum, he could immediately become the team’s new third-line center.
The Edmonton Oilers desperately need some help down the middle, but that is most apparent with the third line. Derek Ryan, Ryan McLeod, and Kyle Turris have each not been working out in the role in the slightest. Although Borgstrom has had some struggles this season himself, he has the potential to outperform these three. Even if he continued to produce at a similar pace to now for the remainder of the campaign, he still would arguably be a slight upgrade over what they have currently.
If the Blackhawks are truly open to the idea of moving Borgstrom, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Oilers test that waters. The Oilers need significant help with their secondary scoring. Furthermore, their bad stretch of play has resulted in them dropping to sixth place in the Pacific Division. Changes of any kind would be better for the Oilers than none, so it feels fair to list them as a potential landing spot for the young center.
The Blackhawks are likely to make a lot of moves as we inch closer to the trade deadline. Their pending unrestricted free agents will likely be traded as rentals, but players like Dylan Strome and Borgstrom shouldn’t be ruled out, either. When it comes to the latter specifically, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see these four clubs pursue him.
Michael DeRosa is a contributor who covers the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks 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 NHLTradeRumors.me, BBallRumors.com, BaseballRumors.me, FootballRumors.me and The Rat Trick.