Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press was on TSN 1290 this week providing some insights into potential trade chips that the Winnipeg Jets might have. It’s interesting to assess a team’s trade assets, as there are a number of factors to consider. Obviously, your most valuable players theoretically have the highest possible trade value. However, it’s extremely unlikely that a team trades one of their best players unless there are reasons (think Erik Karlsson).
So aside from being one of your best players, what are some of the factors that make a player a good trade asset?
Contract status – This is tricky, because UFA’s and RFA’s can be trade assets, or not. Other teams may be reluctant to take on a pure rental player. But, sometimes teams see this as the best way to get an impact player for a playoff run or to avoid the free agent bidding war.
Undervalued contracts – Bad contracts (Milan Lucic) are death in terms of trying to trade. Conversely, players on their entry level contract, or those who signed cap friendly deals are attractive to other teams via trade.
Areas of depth or surplus – If a team has an abundance of talent at any one position, some of those players become trade assets to try to obtain talent at other positions. Examples are the Carolina Hurricanes defense, the Toronto Maple Leafs forwards.
Potential – This one is really tough to gauge. Given the surplus of analytics and scouting information available on every player now, it’s tough to really find a true hidden gem. Teams are generally pretty good about assessing the talent they have. It can happen, as we saw with William Karlsson who has been much better on Vegas than he projected with Columbus. A player like this becomes a trade asset when perhaps other teams see more potential, or have more opportunity to develop that potential than your team does.
Just to be clear, being a trade asset does not mean I’m necessarily advocating trading the player. However, the reality is in the NHL a team has to give up some value to get some value. There’s no fleecing other GM’s anymore getting a prime prospect for some magic beans (unless Peter Chiarelli gets another job quickly). Our first round draft pick (somewhere around 24th overall) is not worth much on it’s own. Nic Petan (I know our readers love him), will not bring back a prime prospect.
Given these criteria, who are some of the Jets best trade assets?
Laurent Brossoit - If you listened to Mike McIntyre’s interview on TSN he astutely pointed out that given that Brossoit and Eric Comrie are both RFA’s this summer, essentially this town ain’t big enough for the both of them. He suggested Comrie is a trade asset, which I agree with. I’ll build on that and say the bigger trade asset right now is Brossoit. Given the silly contracts being given to some unproven goalies, it’s highly likely that Brossoit may be too expensive for us to resign. What would a team looking to upgrade that position and avoid the summer bidding war offer for him right now? Top four defenceman? Second/third line forward? Let’s be clear, it would be a huge risk to trade such a great back-up goalie heading in the playoffs. I’m not sure I’d do it. However, he’s definitely an asset who could bring a return.
Jacob Trouba – I really like Trouba, and the thought of not having him in the playoffs scares me. That aside, if we’re unable to sign him as an RFA will anyone really be surprised? The signs have been there pretty much since the beginning that he’s never really committed to being a Jet long term. And, sure we can trade him in the summer, but it will be at a discounted price once his agent demands a trade. Given that, if you’re Kevin Cheveldayoff, maybe you listen to some offers for him now. Could you get a top pair defenseman in return, with some term? A second line center?
Jack Roslovic - He’s our number six rated prospect under 25 for a reason. I’ve seen hockey writers mention that he is one of the Jets that other teams call about, only to be rejected to date. I like Roslovic a lot, but when the full moon fever of trade deadline hits, would some team offer a current top four defenceman or second line forward for some sort of package featuring Roslovic? If you’re in win now mode, you have to consider it.
Thoughts, questions, outrage? Let us know in the comments section.