Due to a splendid three-game winning streak, the Detroit Red Wings currently sport a 7-3-2 record and are second in the deep Atlantic Division. Although the season is still quite young, this is promising, as this could finally be the year that we see them back in the postseason. If they maintain this excellent stretch of play as the year progresses, expect them to be buyers at this year’s trade deadline.
The Anaheim Ducks, on the other hand, have a 4-8-1 record and will most likely be sellers because of it. They certainly have some pretty intriguing trade targets that Red Wings general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman should consider. Let’s discuss them.
The Ducks have no bigger rental candidate on their roster than John Klingberg. After failing to receive a sizeable long-term offer on the free-agent market this offseason, the 30-year-old settled for a one-year, $7 million deal with the Ducks. This is a prove-it year for the Swedish defenseman and so far, he’s done fairly well. In 13 contests, he has recorded seven assists but also has a minus-7 rating. Still, there’s no question that he can provide excellent offense from the point when playing at his best, so Yzerman should surely have him in his sights.
On the Red Wings, Klingberg could slot perfectly on the team’s second pairing with Olli Maatta. His defensively-responsible game would allow Klingberg to take more risks offensively, which in turn, could lead to more production from him. Furthermore, Klingberg would provide the Red Wings with a major boost on their powerplay due to his excellent passing and spectacular ability to create scoring chances.
To acquire Klingberg, I think two second-round picks and a prospect could get it done. The Ducks would also need to retain some of his salary to help facilitate a move. One defensive prospect who the Ducks could want in this hypothetical swap is Donovan Sebrango. The 20-year-old has the potential to blossom into a top-six defenseman at the NHL level and is starting to show signs of improvement this season. After recording just seven points in 65 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins last season, he already has two goals and an assist in just seven American Hockey League (AHL) contests this year.
Although Klingberg is going to be the Ducks’ biggest trading piece this season, one should not forget about Kevin Shattenkirk. The fellow right-handed defenseman is also capable of playing top-four minutes but carries a much lower $3.9 million cap hit. The 33-year-old is off to another solid start this campaign, as he has five assists and a plus-1 rating in 13 games. With that, he had 35 points in 82 games last season, so like Klingberg, he can produce from the point and could be a solid addition to the Red Wings.
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When looking at a potential fit in Detroit’s lineup, Shattenkirk could either play on their second or third pairing. Like Klingberg, he could work well with Maatta, but he is proving this season with the Ducks that he can still be effective on the bottom pairing. With that, he also receives plenty of playing time on Anaheim’s penalty kill because of his reliability in his own zone, so he could do the same for Detroit if needed. Of course, his offensive ability wouldn’t be a bad thing to add to the power play, either.
Shattenkirk would be cheaper to acquire than Klingberg, too. I believe that a second-round pick and a mid-tier prospect could get this move done. Perhaps 2018 second-round pick Jared McIsaac could be a player who the Ducks would be interested in adding.
The Detroit Red Wings may have plenty of forwards on their roster, but they also are dealing with several injuries. At the time of this writing, Robby Fabbri, Tyler Bertuzzi, Oskar Sundqvist, and Jakub Vrana are all out of action. With that, head coach Derek Lalonde noted that Filip Zadina will be out for months after breaking something. Therefore, I’d argue that the Red Wings would be wise to add to their forward depth sooner rather than later to maintain their playoff spot. Perhaps Derek Grant could interest Yzerman.
Grant has proven over the years that he can produce fairly well in a bottom-six role. For example, in 71 games last season, the 6-foot-3 forward scored 15 goals and recorded 29 points. Although he currently has only two points in 11 games to start the season, I feel that he has the potential to heat up when looking at his past campaigns. Perhaps a change of scenery could be the boost he needs to do just that. If acquired by Detroit, he could fill in on their fourth line and take on some penalty-killing time due to his solid defensive work.
Acquiring Grant would not cost the Red Wings much of anything at this point, either. I’d say a fifth-round pick would be enough to facilitate this move. Given the fact that Detroit could use some forward depth with their injury troubles, I believe that this is a move worth considering.
Nevertheless, the Red Wings have some rather interesting trade targets from the Ducks. Out of the bunch, Klingberg of course would be the biggest splash, but Shattenkirk would also provide them with a much-needed upgrade on the right side. As for Grant, he could be a solid under-the-radar pick-up if he can find his old form. Alas, let’s see if these two clubs strike a deal from here.
Michael DeRosa is a contributor who covers the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, & Detroit Red Wings for The Hockey Writers. Since 2017, he’s written and edited for numerous websites. Besides his work for THW, you can also find him on NHL Trade Rumors.