Hurricanes’ Mock Trade: Necas to Red Wings for Berggren & More

The Hockey Writers

As June flies by, we are just over 14 days away from July 1 and the start of the re-sign and free agency period in the NHL. Teams are starting to understand what they might want to do to begin their 2024-25 season roster construction. Regarding the Carolina Hurricanes, they recently re-signed Jalen Chatfield to a three-year extension on June 14. However, there are a lot more moves to be made for the team that was the odds-on favorite to win the Stanley Cup at the start of the 2023-24 season. According to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, he believes that a handful of teams are interested in forward Martin Necas. He has been rumored to have privately told Carolina that he wants to move on despite being a restricted free agent (RFA) this summer. He had 24 goals and 53 points in 77 games this season after leading the team in points (71) the season before.

Related: Hurricanes Get a Great Deal With Jalen Chatfield’s 3-Year Contract

When Seravalli mentioned the Detroit Red Wings, there is a case to be made to look at their roster and see what a possible deal could look like between them and the Hurricanes. According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, Carolina wants a star player to replace a star player in Necas going out. Regarding the Red Wings, they have some soon-to-be-ready players who can play in the NHL for the upcoming 2024-25 season. Furthermore, they have a deep prospect pool that the Hurricanes can snag one of them as well and potentially a draft pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. That being said, there is a deal that could work that could send Necas to Detroit for an NHL-ready player, a prospect, and a 2024 draft pick.

Tobacco Road Meets Motor City

Jonatan Berggren

The Hurricanes want a star player to come into the roster to replace Necas and there is someone within the Red Wings organization that fits that bill right away. It is none other than 23-year-old Swedish winger Jonatan Berggren. The Uppsala, Sweden native had himself a 2023-24 season with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League (AHL). He tallied 24 goals and 56 points in 53 games for the Griffins who saw the Central Division Final for the first time since 2017. The 33rd overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft had five goals and 10 points in nine games in the Calder Cup Playoffs. He also led the team in goals, assists, and points during the regular season by a wide margin.

Jonatan Berggren Detroit Red Wings
Jonatan Berggren, Detroit Red Wings (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

While Berggren is listed at 5-foot-10, he is an offensively-minded forward who can contribute well on special teams, mainly the powerplay, and has the potential to play in the top six. He has a stocky build but is not overly physical. However, he is an energetic forward who can provide a second layer of offense. He’s got a great shot but he’s a distributor first and foremost. Berggren is also viewed as more of a playmaker but can score when needed and fit within the shot-volume mindset of the Hurricanes. He is someone who thrives on possession. His ability to play with the puck helps bring defenders to him where his teammates can fill in the soft spots in the offensive zone and finish.

During the regular season with the Griffins, his 3.1 shots per game also led the team by a wide margin. Furthermore, in 12 games with Detroit, Berggren had a point in half of them while playing a limited role. He can be a star player if given the opportunity. He just finished his entry-level contract (ELC) that saw him get paid $925,000 in the NHL, and $70,000 in the AHL. The Swedish forward is an RFA coming into the summer. It could be a situation where the deal with the Hurricanes and Necas will be a signing rights swap.

Related: Should the Red Wings Trade Jonatan Berggren?

Red Wings’ executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman likes how Berggren has come along in his career so far with the organization. When asked about him, Yzerman stated, “It’s only a matter of time before they [Berggren and defenseman Simon Edvinsson] are in the NHL and playing regularly. So overall, I think it’s been good for our organization to have them (in Grand Rapids). Sending them to play in GR this year wasn’t necessarily about this year. It’s about the next 15-18 years.”

It makes it interesting though that if they value him so much, why not give him more opportunities? That could play into the hands of the Hurricanes who could give Berggren an ample opportunity to get top-six minutes if they replace Necas with him. Furthermore, he could slot into the second powerplay unit to get used to the system as well. AFP Analytics is projecting that he can potentially get a one-year, $874,125 deal if he stays with Detroit. However, there is a chance that if he gets traded to the Hurricanes he can get a two or three-year prove-it deal anywhere between $925,000 to $1 million per season. The annual average value (AAV) around that is more than doable for Carolina who needs a lot of cap flexibility with all of the RFA and unrestricted free agents (UFA) that they have to manage this summer.

When it comes down to it, Berggren could be that young player who can slot himself into the Hurricanes top six and play on the powerplay as well, just an overall well-rounded player who can still grow more into his game. He also fits the star player that Carolina wants in a trade for Necas.

Anton Johansson

The prospect that the Hurricanes could add to the trade is 20-year-old defenseman Anton Johansson. He is a former 105th overall pick for the Red Wings back in the 2020 NHL Draft. The Stockholm, Sweden native played the 2023-24 season with Leksands IF of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) alongside Hurricanes prospect Felix Unger-Sorem. He tallied three goals and eight points in 46 games while having two goals and four points in seven games during the SHL Playoffs. Johansson is no stranger to winning as he is a former silver medalist at the 2020 World Junior Championship.

Johansson comes from a family of hockey players as his cousin is Alex Wennberg of the New York Rangers. He knows that he has some growing to do in his overall game. However, being someone who is used in all situations in the SHL with Leksands will help him before he transitions to the North American game. The Red Wings are deep at the defenseman position so he may be someone they could part with in a package to bring Necas to the Motor City.

Johansson’s lure is that he has the potential to be a two-way defenseman which plays into what the Hurricanes want in their blueliners. They want someone who can play great transition hockey while being good in all three zones of the ice. The Swedish National team coaches already use him in all situations which gives him a boost to only get better in his overall game. What helps Johansson is that his size and offensive skills are a great start to his development. Plus his desire to get better defensively will be a huge factor in him becoming someone an organization can use in all situations.

Trade Details

When it is all said and done, there is a deal that could be done involving the Hurricanes and Red Wings that could send Necas to Detroit for two players and a draft pick. Here is what the deal could look like in full:

Red Wings Receive:

  • Martin Necas, RW/C (Rights)

Hurricanes Receive:

  • Jonatan Berggren, RW/LW (Rights)
  • Anton Johansson, D (unsigned – June 1, 2026 deadline)
  • 2024 1st Round Pick (15th overall)

Related: Hurricanes’ Cap Situation Could Force a Martin Necas Trade

The Hockey Writers Red Wings writer Evan Sabourin believes this is a deal that could work for both sides while discussing a possible trade with him and other Detroit writers. Regarding the 15th overall pick, that could be done depending on how the board plays out and if there is a guy the Hurricanes want at that spot. As mentioned earlier, Evan believes Johansson would be a solid prospect to add to the deal since the Red Wings are deep in that part of the organizational depth chart. Furthermore, the “star player in for star player out” fits the idea of what Berggren can bring to the Hurricanes if they believe he can be that right-winger replacement for Necas. The flexibility of playing on both wings helps Berggren as well since Carolina could slot him anywhere in the top six and on the powerplay. Overall, this could be a solid deal for both sides that address needs while improving the present and future roster.

Final Thoughts

Looking back on the possible trade between the Hurricanes and Red Wings, this deal is highly likely to work for both franchises. The Red Wings could add another top-six guy in Necas who can play center and wing. Plus he could see the playing time on PP1 that he wants along with seeing if Detroit will play him at center.

Regarding the Hurricanes, they get that budding star player coming back in Berggren who can replace Necas on the right wing while being flexible to play on the left side as well. He could also slot onto the powerplay, mainly PP2, and also be given the ample opportunity needed to show that when given the chance, he is a future star in the NHL. Plus getting another defensive prospect in Johansson is something that could benefit the Hurricanes in the future as they have some question marks on the main roster now and what is in the pipeline. Overall, this is a deal that could benefit both sides.

The Hockey Writers Substack banner Carolina Hurricanes

Articles You May Like

Red Wings’ Playoff Drought Will End This Season
Grading the Red Wings’ 2024 Offseason
Which NHL Playoff Drought Will End This Season?
Red Wings Top 25 Prospects: Post-2024 NHL Draft

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *