The Chicago Blackhawks figure to be an active team over the next week-plus as the NHL trade deadline approaches. On Friday, Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times mentioned two players who haven’t had much trade buzz as of late: Dominik Kubalik and Ryan Carpenter.
According to Pope, the Anaheim Ducks are interested in Kubalik — and have been for a while. Additionally, the Edmonton Oilers are a possible suitor.
The 26-year-old forward has endured a down season with 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) in 59 games in 2021-22. Kubalik put together an outstanding rookie campaign, posting 46 points (30 goals, 16 assists) and finishing third in Calder Trophy voting. He followed that up with a respectable 38 points (17 goals, 21 assists) in the shortened 56-game 2021 season.
Dominik Kubalik’s contract expires after this season, but he will become a restricted free agent. That leverage is surely enticing for a Ducks team that is in the playoff hunt this year but also looking toward the future. As for the Oilers, they’re even closer to the final wild card spot than Anaheim. Kubalik could provide a scoring touch to help propel Edmonton toward the playoffs, but that’s only if a change of scenery activates his game.
Pope also reports that the Nashville Predators have reached out to the Blackhawks about Carpenter.
As a defensive-minded forward, Carpenter’s value comes from his penalty-killing, checking, and faceoff abilities. The 31-year-old averages 2:11 of shorthanded ice time per game, good for second-most among Blackhawks forwards. Carpenter also has 113 hits and a 52.2 faceoff percentage across 55 games this season. Furthermore, his scoring has picked up as of late with five of his 10 total points coming in the last 10 games.
The Chicago Blackhawks trading Ryan Carpenter is almost inevitable. His contract carries a modest $1 million cap hit and will expire after the season, making him an unrestricted free agent. Those factors, in addition to his skill set, make him a perfect bottom-six rental for any contending team.
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