Rebuilding is going to take some time and there is almost no chance that Yzerman is interested in making any type of splash move during the coming offseason but that does not mean he will not be looking to make some minor free agent signings or trades that will improve the Red Wings roster for the 2020-21 season.
According to Max Bultman of The Athletic, there are a couple of trades (specifically for a No. 2 center) that would make sense for Yzerman to consider. One is for Alexander Kerfoot of the Maple Leafs and the other is for Tyson Jost of the Avalanche.
From The Athletic:
After another early postseason exit in Toronto, some shuffling of the deck there feels inevitable. Not in the buzzy “trade a $10 million player” way, but in a way that could at least make some solid players suddenly available. So how about Alexander Kerfoot? The Athletic’s James Mirtle didn’t know what, exactly, to make of Kerfoot’s future when he wrote about which Leafs could stay or go last week. He noted that Kerfoot could certainly stay in Toronto, potentially as a winger, where he spent some meaningful time (and played well) this season.
But if Detroit’s scouts think Kerfoot could stick at center, and if Toronto proves open to moving Kerfoot and his $3.5 million cap hit for the next three years in order to create flexibility, he stands out as a relatively young player (he just turned 26) with a track record of both production (he’s been over 40 points in two of his three NHL seasons) and solid defensive impacts. And Toronto, which is without its first- and third-round picks this fall, could certainly use a boost to its draft capital.
The Red Wings own three second-rounders plus two early picks in the third round of this draft, though certainly they will want to make as many of those picks as they can.
Or, on a similar (though less proven) note, how about Tyson Jost in Colorado? The 10th overall pick from 2016 has his own set of questions about where he should line up (his career faceoff number are not inspiring, for one), but could benefit from more opportunity than he’s been able to carve out in Colorado.
Nathan MacKinnon, Nazem Kadri, J.T. Compher and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare have the center position mostly on lock in Colorado, pushing Jost to the wing and into a role with which his ice time has dropped every season. By Evolving Hockey’s Goals Above Replacement, though, Jost has gotten more valuable each year and graded out better than the vast majority of Detroit forwards this season.
With the Avalanche’s top four centers already under contract for next season, and Jost an RFA, perhaps Jost could be an interesting change of scenery target. But, like so many others here, Detroit would likely want to know if Jost can be a center before making a push. He’s only 22, but winning just 36 percent of his career faceoffs is a red flag.
Nation, which of these to players would you prefer Yzerman trade for? Or, do you have someone else in mind?