The team is stocking up on centers this offseason after the Nick Bonino trade and Kyle Turris buyout, adding Richardson to Luke Kunin, Nick Cousins, and existing centers Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene, and Colton Sissons. The acquisition almost certainly cements Calle Jarnkrok’s move to the wing, where Kunin should also see time, but leaves questions about where the organization’s top prospect Philip Tomasino will play, if he sees NHL icetime at all this upcoming season. They may plan to shift him to wing, where he has also played in the past.
Richardson had six goals and five assists in 59 games for the Coyotes last season, and definitely seems to be undergoing age-related decline. He is unimpressive offensively, and is a liability defensively at even strength and on the penalty kill. He also takes a lot of penalties, without drawing many. It can be expected that the organization is looking to him to add additional grit to the bottom six.
We’ll have more analysis on this and the Preds’ free agency over the next few days here at On the Forecheck.