Chicago Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson
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Chicago Blackhawks linked to the two biggest trade targets this off-season

Published June 18, 2024 at 9:43

The Chicago Blackhawks are armed with Connor Bedard, and just about nothing else. It thus makes sense that they are eyeing a big off-season trade for a forward, notably Mitchell Marner or Trevor Zegras.

Per the renowned Bleacher Nation, the Chicago Blackhawks are in the running for four forwards this off-season; Mitchell Marner, Martin Necas, Oliver Wahlstrom, and Trevor Zegras. All of these players are great, but Marner and Zegras certainly represent more of the fun and flashy play that the Chicago Blackhawks seem to be known for.

On Mitchell Marner:

I've written about the Marner rumors a few times already. There are some fatal flaws for both sides which has poured plenty of water on the Marner-Seth Jones talk from earlier in the summer, but the Blackhawks still needing to spend around $10M — coincidentally Marner's cap hit — to get to the floor for the 2024-25 season keeps Chicago in the mix here. There are other insiders who think Marner will still be in Toronto to start the season.

With only one year left on his contract at this point, the return Toronto would get might underwhelm their fans even if many of them irrationally want to run Marner out of town. If the Blackhawks went in big on Marner, one would hope they would get to work quickly on an extension. I like the player, but not as an uber-expensive rental for one season.

On Trevor Zegras:

Zegras is an intriguing name to tie to the Blackhawks. The 9th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, he's a highlight reel waiting to happen; he pulled off a «Michigan» goal on the same night Connor Bedard did this past season. If you slotted him in the same forward group as Bedard and Frank Nazar that's damn s**y, y'all.


His 2023-24 season got off to a slow, late start because of lengthy contract negotiations with the Ducks that landed him a three-year deal at «only» $5.75M AAV. After consecutive 23-goal seasons to start his NHL career, many felt that was an underpayment. Zegras then dealt with injuries all year and contributed only 15 points in 31 games for the third-worst team in the NHL.

I would imagine the asking price here would be more in line with the cost to get Nečas out of Carolina. And, unlike the other three names above, Zegras has a contract with more than one season remaining on it. At only 6-0 and 185, he isn't a big forward, either.

Zegras can score. And he can skate. And the two years remaining on his contract perfectly fit the Blackhawks' roster build timeline. If he earns a next contract in the next 24 months, that would be great. And he's young enough that he could be an exciting player here. My personal preference would be a bigger forward who plays a little defense occasionally. But Zegras would be fun.

It will be interesting to see which of these players the Chicago Blackhawks push the hardest for. All we do know is that Connor Bedard will have some more premium linemates next year!
JUIN 18   |   100 ANSWERS
Chicago Blackhawks linked to the two biggest trade targets this off-season

Do you think the Chicago Blackhawks should trade for Mitchell Marner or Trevor Zegras?

Mitchell Marner5555 %
Trevor Zegras4545 %
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