Red Wings News & Rumors: Necas, Draft Pick Value, Free Agency & More

The Hockey Writers

With the 2024 Stanley Cup Final winding down, the NHL hot stove is heating up – and the Detroit Red Wings are right in the thick of it. Next up is the 2024 NHL Draft, which is quickly approaching. And with that, we should see more and more trades taking place in advance of the free agent market opening July 1.

In the meantime, get caught up on the latest Red Wings news and rumors, including updates on trade targets, draft scenarios, and free agency.

The Red Wings & Martin Necas

On DailyFaceoff’s Offseason Trade Board, Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas is listed second. The Czechia-native is ranked third on my Red Wings Offseason Trade Board for top-six forwards and fourth among all offseason needs.

Of note, “Calgary, Vancouver, Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Nashville are also believed to be among the teams that have closely followed the action.” 

Detroit Red Wings trade target Martin Necas
Could the Red Wings make a play for Martin Necas? (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

No doubt, Necas aligns with an organizational need. His offense and play-driving would be a welcomed addition to Detroit’s top six. He can also play center, and would give the Red Wings a viable option down the middle should Dylan Larkin or J.T. Compher miss time.

The Hurricanes are reportedly looking for “star power” in return – potentially a good, old-fashioned hockey trade. The Red Wings don’t really have a player who fits that description who they also want to move.

Though the chances of this happening are slim, a three-team trade could land the Red Wings Necas. For example, Detroit could deal a package of young NHL players, prospects, and/or draft picks to the Columbus Blue Jackets—who also have interest in Necas, mind you—with Columbus sending forward Patrik Laine to Carolina

Whichever team acquires Necas will need to pay him, too. Necas is an RFA and is expected to garner between $7 million and $8 million per season. 

The Necas situation is somewhat reminiscent of Alex DeBrincat’s journey last summer. Both highly-gifted forwards wanted out and their teams had contract and salary cap-related pressure to do so. DeBrincat’s ties to the Detroit area certainly worked in the Red Wings’ favor. That’s not the case for Necas, though. That said, you wonder if lightning—or Steve Yzerman—can strike twice.

Should the Red Wings Trade up at the 2024 NHL Draft?

As is the case with most years, a few teams have made it known that they’re willing to part with their first-round pick. This may be to acquire a top-of-the-lineup player or move up/back in the draft.

This got me wondering, what would it take for the Red Wings to move up to various draft slots? Luckily, PuckPedia’s Perri Pick Value Calculator can help us figure out those costs.

Below are four first-round picks and the estimated cost to acquire them:

  • Montreal’s No. 5 pick – No. 15, No. 47, and a 2025 first-round pick
  • Ottawa’s No. 7 pick – No. 15, No. 47, and Jonatan Berggren
  • New Jersey’s No. 10 pick – No. 15, No. 47 and No. 80
  • Philadelphia’s No. 12 pick – No. 15 and No. 47

As you can see, it’s costly to move up in the draft. Not only do you need to find a willing trade partner, you also have to pay a high price to pick a few slots higher.

Let’s say Berkly Catton is available at No. 10, and New Jersey is willing to trade back. Detroit would need to weigh quality versus quantity. Which is better for the organization – Catton or keeping their first three picks and selecting players like Michael Hage, John Mustard, and Lukas Fischer?

Related: Red Wings 2024 NHL Draft: 5 Draft Day Mock Trades

Scenario planning like this will be completed prior to the draft, so decision-making on the floor can be quick. In addition, the Red Wings will likely have trade packages ready to go should another team inform them that they want to move up or back.

Jalen Chatfield Signs & Impact on Red Wings

On Thursday, defenseman Jalen Chatfield re-signed with the Carolina Hurricanes for three years at $3 million per season. In doing so, the blueliner opted not to hit the open market.

Jalen Chatfield re-signing impacts the offseason plans for the Detroit Red Wings
Jalen Chatfield, Carolina Hurricanes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Why is this significant? A couple reasons. First, Chatfield removing himself from the marketplace reduces the supply of available right defensemen – one of Detroit’s primary offseason needs. He’s just one player, but it does squeeze the buyers a bit. One less player hitting the market does have an impact.

There’s a silver lining, though: Chatfield signed for less than expected. Most believed that his AAV would have been closer to $4 million had he hit free agency. If that were to be the case, then it’s fair to reason that this would have pushed up the contract demands from superior right defensemen like Brandon Montour, Matt Roy, Brett Pesce, Chris Tanev, and Dylan DeMelo. That won’t be the case, though.

With Chatfield under contract, the Red Wings—and other buyers—can remove him from their list of targets. Roy is still the top choice, in my opinion. There will be increased focus on him and the other top right defensemen now, though. The marketplace just got a little more competitive.

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