How did you rank in hits last year? With Lucic, Dubinsky, Bieksa, and Schenn on your roster, and Kassian on the way, probably not too badly right?
I agree that Cole and Ryder are both due for a regression, and at 34 I question how much longer Cole can keep throwing his body around. While Ryder is a downgrade in a number of categories, including hits and shots, he is two years younger, plays a safer style of hockey.
Zbad meanwhile looks to be a very solid prospect, and I would be excited about the chance to land him. He is fairly close to being NHL ready, and while you obviously have to be cautious about expecting him to hit the 80+ upside that is often attributed to him, he does seem to be a safe bet as a 60+ guy. Dobber mentions Plekanec as a comparable for his 3-year projection in the Prospects Report.
But who do you drop for Zbad? 2 for 1 is actually 2 for 2, as it forces you to dump somebody. Your current four farm guys are quality prospects, and while I would rather have Zbad than Atkinson and possibly Nyqvist, I am not sure the upgrade there would be big enough to justify the downgrade from Ryder to Cole. I suppose you could lose Booth, and hope one of your prospects can step up and replace him.
So yeah...I am undecided. If you are desperate to win this year, don't do it, simply because you are downgrading a starter, and introducing a question mark by trying to plug a rookie in to replace whomever you drop. If you look at your team as a work in progress, and would like to add a nice piece, then go for it.