Hartford Wolf Pack expect changes with trade deadline near

Brett Berard
Brett Berard in action (Photo: Megan Boyle / Hartford Wolf Pack)

This will be an intriguing week for both the Hartford Wolf Pack and New York Rangers as they look to bolster their respective rosters for the playoffs.

Based on the AHL’s roster deadline which coincides with the NHL’s Trade Deadline set for this Friday at 3 p.m. ET, a player must be on the Wolf Pack roster by that time in order to be sent down from the NHL for the remainder of the season.

On Tuesday, the Rangers made their first move by sending down forward Alex Belzile in anticipation of a trade for Seattle Kraken center Alexander Wennberg. More moves are anticipated this week, including the assignments of Adam Edstrom and Matt Rempe (unless they are included in trades).

Also keep in mind the following date of Friday, March 15th, which is the AHL’s trade deadline. Players on AHL deals can be moved between clubs, which Hartford was active in doing so last season, prior to their long playoff run.

Related: Updates Rangers Trade Board

Hartford Wolf Pack Trade Bait

NHL: Preseason-New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

The first player that could be on the move is 31-year-old veteran Turner Elson. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer that’s notched 23 points (5 goals, 7 assists) in 38 games. After a strong second half of the season last year, Elson was expected to provide further offense to the lineup but struggled and was often held out of the lineup during the first half of the season from due to the League’s development rule.

Of the eighteen (18) skaters (not counting two goaltenders) that teams may dress for a game, at least thirteen (13) must be qualified as “development players.” Of those 13, twelve (12) must have played in 260 or fewer professional games (including AHL, NHL and European elite leagues), and one must have played in 320 or fewer professional games. All calculations for development status are based on regular-season totals as of the start of the season.

Tyler Pitlick is another candidate for the Rangers to possibly include in a deal. Through nine games in the AHL, he’s recorded three goals and three assists. While the veteran found his game recently, Pitlick could be dealt for another offensive oriented player for Hartford.

Matthew Robertson, who’s on an expiring deal and will be a restricted free agent this summer, is a potential player on defense core that could be moved. The 22-year-old prospect has value as the defenseman is having a quietly good season. Through 49 games, Robertson has notched four goals and 16 assists for 20 points. The Rangers recently re-signed Brandon Scanlin and Connor Mackey indicating his place on the team’s depth chart has dropped.

Other prospects that have been mentioned in potential trades are Brett Berard, Adam Sykora, and Bobby Trivigno.

Any trade talks involving Brennan Othmann or recent first-round draft pick Gabe Perreault have been shut down.

Wolf Pack’s Needs

The biggest need entering this deadline is offensive production. While Othmann and Berard continue to have stellar seasons with impressive numbers, the club lacks enough firepower to win consistently. In their last 10 games, Hartford averaged 2.9 goals excluding their 2 empty netters in Sunday’s contest against Providence. Hartford could receive reinforcements indirectly if the Rangers make trades that send down Edstrom and/or Rempe.

If veteran forward Riley Nash can return from injury (out since Feb. 21), it would also help the team’s offensive woes.

Another issue for Hartford is they’re dealing with injuries on defense. While players such as Bryan Yoon and Blake Hillman have stepped up, long-term Hartford needs another steady defenseman to ensure the club can compete in the playoffs.

Hartford Wolf Pack Weekly

Hartford had an impressive week leading up to the deadline earning 5 of 6 points to maintain 4th in the Atlantic Division. They’re currently riding a 3-game point streak (2-0-1) and are 4-2-1-1 in their last 8 outings.

For a club dealing with injuries and missing multiple key cogs, Hartford continue to find ways to stay afloat in the competitive Atlantic Division. Post deadline, a bolstered Wolf Pack club would address a multitude of deficiencies heading into the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs. Through 52 games, Hartford is 28-17-6-1 for 63 points. They have 26 games remaining on the docket.

Playoff Primer is Live

The road to the 2024 Calder Cup Playoffs is on. The AHL released their yearly playoff primer. Entering the week, Hartford’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 29 points.

One Timers

  • Brett Berard is up to 19 goals in 52 games. The rookie is ranked 3rd in the AHL for goals among rookies.
    • Brennan Othmann is ranked 13th among rookies for goals (14).
  • Karl Henriksson tied his career high in points (17) against Providence on Sunday. The forward recorded 9 goals and 8 assists in 46 games.
  • Defenseman Zach Berzolla returned from injury and is Hartford’s 7th defenseman.
  • Alex Belzile was assigned to Hartford on Tuesday. As a result, Tyler Tag Bertuzzi was released from his Professional Tryout.

Upcoming Games

Friday, March 8th vs Providence Bruins (Boston) at 7pm, XL Center

  • This is the 9th of 10 meetings in the season series. Hartford is 4-3-1 against Providence. The final meeting of the season is on April 21st (last game of season).
  • Entering the week, Providence remains in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division, Eastern Conference, and league. The Bruins are 34-16-3-2 for 73 points. Providence is 7-3 in their last 10 outings.
  • Bruins prospect Georgii Merkulov leads the Bruins in points with 49. In 50 games, the forward collected 21 goals and 28 assists. Fabian Lysell is 2nd on the team for points with 43. In 51 games, Lysell collected 15 goals and 28 assists.
  • Listen – Mixlr. Watch – AHLTV.

Saturday, March 9th vs Bridgeport Islanders (New York) at 7pm, Total Mortgage Arena

  • This is the 9th of 10 meetings in the season series. Hartford is 7-1 against Bridgeport. The final meeting in the season series is on April 3rd.
  • Entering the week, Bridgeport remains last in the division, Eastern Conference, and league. However, the Islanders won 2 straight games and are 5-3-1-1 in their last 10 outings.
  • Islanders prospect Ruslan Iskhakov leads the club in points with 39. Through 53 games, the forward collected 15 goals and 24 assists. Otto Koivula is 2nd on the roster for points with 30. The veteran has 9 goals and 21 assists.
  • Listen – Mixlr. Watch – AHLTV.

Ricky Milliner is a Hartford Wolf Pack season ticket holder. While growing up, he discovered hockey by attending a... More about Ricky Milliner

Mentioned in this article:

More About: