David Rundblad is an NHL-caliber defenseman, yet he finds himself unable to crack the lineup for the Phoenix Coyotes. He lead the team in scoring during the preseason and after getting traded two times prior to even cementing his place as a professional player, he seemed to have finally settled in with Phoenix.
Despite the strong postseason, Rundblad has been scratched more often than not this season. Players such as Michael Stone appear to have passed him on the depth chart despite his outstanding puck-moving ability, and it is becoming clear that Rundblad probably won’t get a chance to succeed with the Coyotes either.
Is it possible that the youngster could be traded for the third time in his career despite only having played 44 games in the NHL? If the Coyotes decide that they need to add some offensive firepower (ironically, that’s exactly what they traded away to land Rundblad) then they might be coaxed into trading him.
Rundblad isn’t not playing because he’s not good. Phoenix just seems to have found the perfect mix on the blue line, and the group is yielding strong results for the team. Oliver Ekman-Larsson is emerging as an elite NHL defender. Keith Yandle already is one. Zbynek Michalek is a shot-blocking machine and David Schlemko is a bargain.
Rostislav Klesla is solid when healthy, and Stone brings a strong and physical element to the game. That doesn’t leave much room for Rundblad. If the Coyotes go fishing for the top-six winger that they appear to need at this juncture, don’t be surprised if they end up moving the promising young defenseman that no one seems to have room for.
Someone will make space for Rundblad at some juncture and they’ll be glad they did. Phoenix just doesn’t seem to be the place for him either.