There is a lot of risk for the Buffalo Sabres working out a deal to acquire a potential rental piece in Connor Hellebuyck. Or, is there?
Many of you know I’ve been in the “Buffalo Sabres should pass on Connor Hellebuyck camp.” I mean, unloading and mortgaging current and future assets, even with a playoff-caliber roster for a potential rental makes absolutely no sense unless you’re building a one-year team.
And the last I checked, Adams wanted long-term success, not a mortgage for a player who could cost you high draft picks, top-end prospects, and perhaps current players for one year of service. If Buffalo was in contention for the Stanley Cup this season with their current roster, I’d say, “Go right ahead, do what you must to acquire Hellebuyck.”
But that’s not the case. However, there is one trade proposal I recently crossed that made a lot of sense. That proposal came from Lance Lysowski of Buffalo News, whose work I respect and often cite on this blog. And while Lysowski’s offer still contained a current player, a draft pick, and even a high-end prospect, they were three assets that the Sabres would be just fine parting ways with.
Breaking down Buffalo Sabres analyst’s ideal trade offer for Hellebuyck
In this particular trade, the Sabres would acquire Connor Hellebuyck at the expense of the following players and assets:
- Noah Ostlund
- Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen
- Third round pick
I don’t know about you, but this is the type of trade that I would pull off in a heartbeat. The Winnipeg Jets get a dynamic playmaker in Ostlund, who could wind up in the AHL next season if he decides to forgo a second year in Sweden.
Further, it would be foolish for NHL teams to fold on Luukkonen, who showed in 2022-23 that he can enjoy success in this league. He just needs to learn how to be more consistent in the endeavor, and that would be my selling point to Winnipeg. Best yet, the Blue and Gold get a dynamic goaltender for at least a season to mentor Levi and perhaps even serve as the 1A.
Lysowski also stressed that the Buffalo Sabres should not seek to trade either Matt Savoie or Jiri Kulich for Hellebuyck. And I agree 100%. Ostlund is the expendable one in this situation, but Savoie and Kulich proved they are ahead of the curve and both should be solid contributors in the Queen City come 2024-25 at the latest.
Source: Sabres roundtable: Is a No. 1 goalie on the shopping list? Who is next to break out? by Lance Lysowski and Mike Harrington, BuffaloNews.com