June 25, 2024

Trending: Tampa deadline targeted defender now here, its sealed.

The Tampa Bay Lightning trade deadline and any potential targets will be interesting to watch this season. Over the last several seasons, they’ve been active with deals. It started with Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow. More recently, it has been Tanner Jeannot and Michael Eyssimont. This season, there is a question of what the Lightning should do; buy or sell? Here at Last Word, Kyle Pereira and Jack Pallotta will start a series where they look at some potential trades. Let’s say they buy, who do they get? What do they give up? Today, we look at defenceman William Borgen of the Seattle Kraken.

Who the Tampa Bay Lightning Targets at the Trade Deadline: Will Borgen

After bouncing between the minor league and NHL with the Buffalo Sabres organization, Will Borgen set to move on to better things for the 2021-22 season. The former 4th round draft pick was selected in the expansion draft by the Kraken and has remained with the club since their birth. Seattle took an interest in Borgen for his size and projected outlook as a future full-time roster player.

Last season was a massive success for hockey in the city of Seattle. The Kraken clinched their first playoff birth in franchise history and were one game away from the Western Conference Finals. However, the Kraken have not met expectations this season. Therefore, a few players on short-term contracts are available for trade, one being Borgen. NHL insider Frank Seravalli rumoured the Lightning may pursue the 27-year-old defender. Let’s analyze Borgen as a potential trade target for Tampa Bay Lightning.

Borgen Scouting Report

Known for his defensive prowess, Borgen continues to develop as a stable NHL defenceman. The late-bloomer plays a physical brand of hockey that NHL general managers rave about. Borgen ranks first on the Kraken with 120 hits at 5v5. Furthermore, Borgen ranks third on the Kraken in blocks with 67 at 5v5. On a positive note, Borgen developed his offensive skill set with the Kraken this season while remaining responsible defensively.

Borgen already set a career-high this season with 22 points in 60 games, consisting of two goals and 20 assists. The young blue-liner is on pace for 30 points across 82 games in 2024. In 192 games of NHL experience, Borgen has seven goals and 43 assists for 50 points. His offensive production continues to grow every season, and the Minnesota native will keep getting better. With that, why would Tampa Bay find interest in a young defender like Borgen?

Borgen’s Strengths

Borgen spends most of his minutes alongside Jamie Oleksiak. The pairing is on the ice for 2.72 expected goals per hour (2.72 xGF/60), the highest rate out of all Kraken defensive pairings with over 100 minutes played. Borgen is on the ice when the Kraken generates scoring chances, proving his ability as a two-way defender. In previous years, Borgen’s one-dimensional play limited his time on ice.

Microstats data from All Three Zones has Borgen in the 87th percentile of cycle and forecheck offence per hour amongst defenceman this season. Borgen receives pucks and fires them on the net, possessing solid shooting skills from range. Moreover, he enjoys utilizing one-timers and deflections as well. Borgen ranks in the 94th percentile of deflection assists per 60. The Lightning abuse their defenders in the offensive zone. From three recently tracked games here at Last Word, the Lightning control 58.23% of the point passes at 5v5 (58.23 PTP%). Tampa Bay must continue to get pucks through shooting lanes, and Borgen will help with their shot selection. Now, what are some weaknesses of Borgen’s game?

Tampa Bay Lightning Trade Deadline Target: Kraken Breakout Defender

Borgen’s Weaknesses

For the most part, Borgen does not have many weaknesses in his game. After all, the 27-year-old spent years perfecting his craft in the American Hockey League and continues to thrive under Dave Hakstol. Borgen’s only downside is his struggle with zone entries, both on the offensive and defensive side. While Borgen can break out of his end efficiently, his ability to generate chances off the rush and prevent them is lacking. With improvement in transition, we are looking at a solid second-pairing guy down the stretch. Let’s say the Tampa Bay Lightning do target Borgen at the trade deadline. What would a potential trade look like?

What It Would (Likely) Take To Acquire Borgen

The Lightning will be without top-four defender Mikhail Sergachev for the rest of the season. Placing Sergachev on long-term injured reserved opens $8.5 million in cap space for Julien BriseBois to work with at the trade deadline, which ends this upcoming Friday. Players with comparable value to Borgen were traded in previous years for similar price tags.

First, the Arizona Coyotes acquired Sean Durzi this past summer in exchange for a 2024 second-round draft pick. Prior to his offensive explosion at the start of the season, Durzi and Borgen produced at similar rates. Another comparable trade stems from the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline. The Edmonton Oilers traded William Lagesson, a 2022 second-round pick, and a 2024 seventh-round pick to acquire Brett Kulak. Borgen plays an identical defensive-minded style to Kulak. With that, below is a hypothetical trade offer for Borgen.

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