Over the next few months leading up to the deadline, the Montreal Canadiens will be one of the most-talked-about teams in trade chatter. This is because they are expected to be among the NHL’s biggest sellers, with players like Sean Monahan, David Savard, Jake Allen, and Cayden Primeau being some of their trade candidates. However, while the Canadiens are expected to be sellers, that does not mean that they should automatically avoid trying to bring in talent.
One interesting player on which the Canadiens should be keeping a close eye is Detroit Red Wings winger Jonatan Berggren. The 23-year-old winger has been picking up some steam in the rumor mill as of late, and he would make sense as a trade target for Montreal. Let’s discuss why this is the case now.
Berggren Viewed as Potential Trade Candidate
Over the last week, Berggren has been discussed as a potential trade candidate from the Red Wings. On a recent episode of The Jeff Marek Podcast, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman had this to say on the Berggren trade chatter: “A couple people told me to keep an eye out on Berggren, like, there might be something going on around them like a move or something like that. So, just something to watch.”
This is not the first time Berggren has been discussed as a possible trade candidate, but when a trusted insider like Friedman brings something like this up, it needs to be paid attention to very closely.
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Berggren may benefit from a change of scenery, too. While he was recently called up to the Red Wings’ roster, he has spent the majority of this season with the Grand Rapids Griffins. Due to this and the Red Wings’ strong forward depth, there is no guarantee he will stick with Detroit’s roster once they get fully healthy again. Therefore, rumors surrounding Berggren are likely to continue.
Why the Canadiens Should Target Berggren
When looking at Berggren, he is exactly the kind of player that a rebuilding team like the Canadiens should be targeting. The 23-year-old winger is viewed as having good upside and has already had some success at the NHL level. In 67 games last season with the Red Wings as a rookie, he made an immediate impact, posting 15 goals and 28 points. With Detroit this season, he has been effective again, as he has two goals and four points in seven games.
If the Red Wings truly shop Berggren, the Canadiens would be wise to make a big push to acquire him. He has the tools to become a top-six forward at the NHL level, and the Canadiens could use that. This is especially so when noting that veterans like Josh Anderson and Brendan Gallagher have struggled in bigger roles with Montreal this season.
Ultimately, Berggren is a young forward who the Canadiens should be open to taking a chance on. He could thrive playing bigger minutes with Montreal and become a strong part of their offence in the process.
Berggren’s Potential Fit With Canadiens
When looking at the Canadiens’ current lineup, it is fair to argue that Berggren would challenge for top-six minutes if acquired by the club. Juraj Slafkovsky has not been the answer for the first-line right wing spot this season, while Anderson has been quite disappointing. Because of this, bringing in a promising young player like Berggren would create some much-needed competition at right wing.
Berggren’s high offensive IQ and skill would also make him a clear candidate for power-play time on the Canadiens. The Canadiens could certainly use a boost in this area, and Berggren has the potential to give them just that.
Nevertheless, it is clear that the Canadiens have a very good trade target in Berggren here. Several other teams likely have their eyes on the 2018 second-round pick, so the Canadiens should work quickly if they want to land him. In the end, this would be a low-risk, high-reward kind of addition. We will need to wait and see if Montreal pulls off a deal for him.