Since it's looking more and more like he won't make the final cut and because he has a clause allowing him to return to Finland, do the Panthers retain his rights or would he become a FA?
Either way, it sure seems like a trade of Niklas is looming. My guess is he'll go to the Penguins for a 3rd or 4th rd pick.
I believe the Panthers would retain his NHL rights, although he would still need to be protected in the waiver draft.
IMO, the Panthers aren't in the position of trading young players who have proven that they can take a a shift in the NHL for 3rd or 4th rounders. If Dudley finds himself forced to do so, then it will be his fault and Keenan's fault for reaching that point.
In the course of patting himself on the back for acquiring Van Ryn, Dudley himself said that young players need time to get over the humps that surface early in their careers...