Enterprise candidate: Dmitry Kulikov | Yardbarker
Whereas it hasn’t been a very good 12 months for New Jersey, Kulikov has had a good season total. He’s New Jersey’s fourth place in ice time by defensemen and break up the time between second and third pair. He additionally performed heavy minutes from the penalty spot, anchoring their prime unit.
Offensively, Kulikov hasn’t accomplished a lot. Though he is by no means been a top-notch factors producer (his profession excessive is 28), that is his worst season in factors per sport as he sits at simply 0.06 (two assists in 31 contests). Whereas the assault was by no means his calling card, groups normally count on just a little greater than that, even from their stay-at-home choices.
One factor which will intrigue some groups is Kulikov’s possession depend, who’s the very best of his profession and one of many Devils’ finest. With half a season shortened beneath its belt, the pattern dimension is a bit small, however as entrance places of work turn into extra inclined to investigate, that is one thing that may work in his favor as a number of depth defenders are typically not constructive on the possession aspect.
31 GP, 0 targets, 2 assists, 2 factors, -2 standings, 22 PIMS, 34 pictures, 19:25 TOI, 54.0 CF%
Whereas Kulikov has hung out on the second matchup with New Jersey, potential consumers and playoff groups will possible view it as a extra in-depth choice, one that may play nearer to 16 minutes per sport.
Within the east, the islanders have a sure cap room with Anders lee on LTIR and accomplished for the 12 months. Clearly their objective shall be so as to add a striker, however assuming they do not spend all their flexibility on this improve, normal supervisor Lou Lamoriello – a fan of additional defensive depth – might concentrate on somebody like Kulikov. The Rangers and Flyers – groups tied on factors however heading in reverse instructions for now – might additionally add depth on the again in the event that they’re nonetheless within the race nearer to April 12.
As for Central, Chicago is one other group with loads of LTIR room. Whereas they won’t be in a spot the place it might be sensible to spend large on rental on the deadline, including a educated veteran or two at a low worth to provide them a bit extra depth can be sensible and Kulikov is definitely wonderful. to this kind of concept.
Within the North Division, Winnipeg might add extra depth and have recognized Kulikov since his time there, so that can not be totally dominated out. Montreal is in a cash return state of affairs, however with Ben chiarot outdoors and Victor Mete struggling this season, there’s a particular want for a lift within the brief time period. Calgary might get a lift for his or her third matchup Nikita Nesterov battle offensively and so they have sufficient flexibility that they do not want wage compensation.
St. Louis is smart of the West Division with Carl Gunnarsson out for the 12 months; Kulikov would change him in principle. Les Bleus will lose a few of their LTIR flexibility as soon as Colton Parayko comes again although Oskar Sundqvist (ACL Surgical procedure) may be transferred there at any time. Colorado at the moment makes use of Jacob MacDonald on an emergency mortgage, a job that Kulikov might definitely enhance.
Probability of an alternate
With the Devils nicely out of the playoffs, there is not any actual must maintain somebody like Kulikov round, in addition to he was. There are at all times groups on the lookout for defensive depth for the stretch run and Kulikov is among the extra inexpensive by way of cap hit and pay. Consequently, there’s an excellent likelihood he’ll transfer with a mid-round choose coming the opposite method over the subsequent few weeks.