Since it's topical right now I'll quote Kyle Lowry in saying....it was a "wasted year" for me. To say the season was a complete failure is a little strong given the team challenged for the division title and made it's first postseason appearance in ages but management isn't exactly happy after being swept out of the first round. This was a solid roster heading into the season with good balance between youth & vets. As the season progressed this became a stacked roster that saw NHL regulars Brendan Gallagher, Jordan Eberle & Rick Nash rotating as healthy scratches. Perhaps it was a case of too much tinkering that didn't allow the team to gel and for players to establish clearly defined roles. Achieving this deep roster came at the expense of a lot of the teams stockpiled picks & prospects. While the cupboards are far from bare they're nowhere close to what they once were. A few quality prospects remain with a variety of depth guys who are on the verge of busting and the team won't have a 1st round pick for the first time in GM Jeff Kirk's tenure. Forwards An extremely deep group in the end that didn't produce any overly impressive individual efforts over the course of the season. The addition of Eric Staal & Mike Fisher was expected to be the move that put this team over the top. Two high EX/LD players with strong all around ratings to help guide the younger base. In the end, neither of them or Henrik Zetterberg & Rick Nash, could bring enough to even muster up one postseason win. Due to cap reasons all but Eric Staal will likely be leaving the team for the 2018-19 season leaving the younger & prime age players to try finding a way back into the playoffs again. The rest of the forward group is under contract with one RFA to sign... Patrik Laine - Eric Staal - Jakub Voracek Jonathan Huberdeau - Auston Matthews - Jordan Eberle Tyler Toffoli - Kevin Hayes* - Brendan Gallagher Tomas Jurco - Luke Glendening - Calle Jarnkrok *Pending RFA Defenders There wasn't as much tinkering with this group throughout the season. Jake Gardiner was traded to add a more defensively responsible Justin Braun and Paul Martin was added as another depth piece that didn't work out. Ivan Provorov seemed to be the glue that held this group together as the team struggled mightily in the 22 games he didn't play. Also missing 18 games was Seth Jones, who should be the undisputed #1 D next season. The two bright spots of this group were the strong NHL season for depth signing Greg Pateryn who could be a solid #5-6 option next season and emergence of young Victor Mete who will likely be an injury call up. Looking ahead to 2018-19 the group will be weaker with the likely loss of Dan Hamhuis but should still be able to hold its own is... Seth Jones - Ivan Provorov Adam Larsson - Justin Braun Mark Pysyk - Greg Pateryn Goaltending Andrei Vasilevskiy & Jonathan Bernier played a 60/40 split of the games last season with Bernier posting the better stats overall while playing in many of the easier matchups. In the end this was definitely the position of weakness that may have held the team back from achieving their ultimate goal. Heading into next season this weakness should turn into a strength after Vasilevskiy's possible Vezina calibre season proved he has what it takes to be a starting goalie in the NHL. Bernier played strong for the upstart Avalanche in stretches giving the team a strong 1-2 punch for at least one more season in 2018-19... Andrei Vasilevskiy Jonathan Bernier Prospects & Picks The prospect list took a bit of a hit as a variety of guys were moved during the season. Henrik Borgstrom & Cody Glass are the top guys left that will be counted on to bring the next wave of ELC's to a roster of large contracts. Taylor Raddysh had another strong season and brings solid pro potential. The next tier of prospects like Erik Foley, Adam Mascherin, Justin Bailey, Tyler Benson, Joni Ikonen & Josh Brook all had mixed degrees of success or failures on the season. The team will need 2-3 of these guys to take a positive step in 2018-19. A once massive list of picks has dwindled down to only 7 without a 1st rounder in the bunch. Look for the team to be active in the trade market again to move around in the next draft or two. Trade Block The following roster players are available for trade talks... Jordan Eberle Tyler Toffoli Adam Larsson Justin Braun Henrik Zetterberg (UFA rights) Rick Nash (UFA rights) Dan Hamhuis (UFA rights) Paul Martin (UFA rights) Open to a variety of moves but I would like to improve on D and possibly add a little cheaper contract forward for my middle 6. The following prospects are available for trade talks... Brandon Gignac Colton White Emil Johansson Gabriel Gagne Maxim Letunov Morgan Klimchuk Ryan Graves Tyler Benson Plus others not named Glass, Borgstrom or Mete. Values will range greatly and could go for late round picks or bundled to land other picks/prospect/roster players depending on the guy (i.e. Raddysh). You can get me on WhatsApp or email.