With the trade deadline less than two weeks away, the writers at Devils Army Blog will commence a series looking at some of the potential players general manager Ray Shero may target between now and February 26. While Shero did mention he isn’t looking for any short-term fixes, the speculation-fueled rumor mills have been pumping out names and scenarios that are conceivable for the Devils to consider. While most websites collectively list some of New Jersey’s potential trade targets, this piece is the first of multiple individual profiles we’ll be doing on those select players.
Once a perennial playoff contender, the Detroit Red Wings have become a team in a full blown rebuild, and we all know what teams do when they are in rebuild mode—Sell Sell Sell. These types of situations are the perfect opportunity to target, and you might just be able to get a better deal on a guy who can be considered expendable.
That man is Tomas Tatar. At 27-years old, Tatar has logged 399 games while posting 216 points (111 goals, 105 assists) and a +7 for his career. Tatar also bolsters a 55.6 percent career Corsi score, which backs his offensive prowess and strong puck possession abilities.
With Tatar being under contract until 2021, this is an acquisition that would have the long haul in mind. Tatar can boost our depth up the middle with his ability to play center, or you can pair him with a guy like Miles Wood, letting them burn up and down the ice. With a set of slick hands and quick decision-making, Tatar can easily stay right around the 50-point mark this season.
If you take into consideration he will be in his prime the next few years, you can even expect those numbers to jump, especially if playing with higher caliber teammates. According to similarity scoring (courtesy of hockey-reference.com), here are some of the players Tatar best relates to: Alex Galchenyuk, Chris Kreider, Gustav Nyquist, Jonathan Huberdeau and Nathan Mackinnon.
While these ratings do not mean that these forwards use a similar playing style, it does rate them on their effectiveness throughout their career thus far. A lot of those names are considered to be the league’s future, or currently stepping fully into their prime, so having someone of Tatar’s caliber on your team will only help the development of our young wingers.
Tatar’s current contract and skill level, however, may make Red Wings general manager Ken Holland want to hold onto him as a key piece in their rebuilding process. Detroit can also simply hold onto him and make a deal either in the off season, or give him the “Duchene treatment” and only make a trade for exactly what he wants in return. Does this make him unable to be traded for? No. It does, however, mean that Shero will have to be clever with what he sends their way to obtain him. It will take at least one, most likely multiple draft picks along with a prospect to obtain Tatar, but when you have the ability to go out and get a guaranteed top-six winger I would say it’s worth the risk.