Kukla's Korner

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PTO Players Who Can Make Their Team

Dan Rosen of NHL.com answers some questions...

Who is most likely to stick with a team off a professional tryout contract for this upcoming season?

My top three candidates going into training camp are defenseman Cody Franson (Chicago Blackhawks), right wing Jimmy Hayes (New Jersey Devils) and center Jay McClement (Penguins).

The Blackhawks have to fill Brian Campbell's spot on defense and Franson might be the ideal fit at a bargain price. He's right-handed with size (6-foot-5, 224 pounds), moves well, advances the puck, joins the rush and drives possession. These are all important factors in fitting in with the Blackhawks, who appear to have an opening on the right side for a third-pair defenseman.

The Devils need depth. Hayes would provide that. There is a lot of competition in New Jersey for forwards in a bottom-six role, but many of the players, including John Quenneville, Nick Lappin, Stefan Noesen, Miles Wood, Michael McLeod and Blake Speers are young and on the fringe of being NHL regulars. Hayes could give the Devils more time to develop at least one of those players.

McClement could be Matt Cullen's replacement in Pittsburgh.

more Q & A...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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