Eight Players to be Traded Before the Start of the Season

Via Kirk Irwin / Getty Images

With the draft and all the fun dates of the NHL offseason coming up, it seems like trade talks have been boiling hot. Here, we’ll look at eight players whose name has been appearing in talks recently, go over teams who might be interested, a destination, and asking price.

Seth Jones D Columbus Blue Jackets

Teams Involved: Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, Winnipeg Jets, Colorado Avalanche, and Los Angeles Kings

Seth Jones has been one of the more popular names floating around in the trade market as of recently. Jones, whose six year, $32,400,000 contract is entering the final year, posted five goals and 23 assists for 28 points this past season. The former fourth overall selection should usually find himself in the 40-50 point range, and provide some decent defense. This past year, his defense has been abysmal, but is due for a bounce back.

Projected Team: Winnipeg Jets

The Winnipeg Jets are lacking when it comes to high end defenseman. In his current state, they wouldn’t be getting one, but Jones is going into a contract year, and could do much better with a fresh start. I don’t think any general manager is willing to give up what was rumored to be the asking price. A start would be Sami Niku, Jansen Harkins, and a 1st round pick. The pick belonging to the Jets, it would be in the later portions of the first round, and could benefit both teams.

Jack Eichel C Buffalo Sabres

Teams Involved: Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, and Boston Bruins

Things have turned sour between the Buffalo Sabres and former second overall pick, and NHL all star, Jack Eichel. Between team performance and behind the curtains, it seems like there are always two separate grounds between Eichel and management. A disappointing season for him and the Sabres ended with injuries, Eichel having a herniated disk in his neck and missing the final 33 games of the season, requiring surgery. Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams denied his bid to have surgery done, thus creating a disconnection between him and the franchise. In the 21 games he did play, Eichel posted only two goals and 16 assists.

Projected Team: Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings need someone to pass the torch to once Anze Kopitar retires, or is no longer with the team. The Kings have two exciting center prospects in Quinton Byfield and Alex Turcotte, but Jack Eichel is a proven elite talent. Los Angeles has the pieces to acquire Eichel, the package most likely starts with Turcotte, a first rounder, Gabriel Vilardi, and Adrian Kempe. This could be more, could be less, switch players around, who knows, every NHL general manager values players differently.

Vladimir Tarasenko W St. Louis Blues

Teams Involved: New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, Boston Bruins, and Florida Panthers
Via Jeff Roberson AP

Similar to the Jack Eichel situation, Vladimir Tarasenko and the St. Louis Blues have a growing disconnection due to a surgery situation. Tarasenko has had two major shoulder surgeries in the past two years, holding him to only 34 regular season games, and eight playoff games. He has two years left on his deal, which holds and average annual value (AAV) of $7.5 million. In the 2019-20 season, he put up 10 points in 10 games, but this past year, in 24 games, he put up 14 points. Known for his goal scoring ability, Tarasenko managed just seven goals in those 34 games, and added two in eight games in the playoffs.

Projected Team: Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins’ cup window is about to slam shut with the age of the core getting up there. Adding more offensive power won’t hurt, and especially if negotiations with pending UFA Taylor Hall go south, they have a replacement. Adding Tarasenko would probably mean Jake DeBrusk, Connor Clifton, a first and second round pick, with conditions that depend on games played. I also see the Philadelphia Flyers making a strong case for Tarasenko.

Rasmus Ristolainen D Buffalo Sabres

Teams Involved: Dallas Stars, New Jersey Devils, Arizona Coyotes, and Winnipeg Jets

There are rumors about the Buffalo Sabres trading Rasmus Ristolainen? It seems to be just another day in the NHL trade rumor mill. The whole Ristolainen trade has been a thing for what feels like nearly three years. Around every trade deadline his name is up on the boards, and every offseason he’s primed to be moved. Another year, another horrid defensive season and mediocre offensive season for him. This past year, in 49 games played, Ristolainen put up four goals and 14 assists for 18 points. What team will give up assets for this guy, a former eighth overall pick?

Projected Team: Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars are probably going to be the team that gets all over Rasmus Ristolainen. Ristolainen will probably end up on the bottom pair, and could possibly push to a second pair depending of performance or injuries. The Stars could end up losing Jamie Oleksiak to the UFA market, so he could be the replacement. I don’t see the package being big, maybe a 3rd or 4th round pick, and a “whatever” player like Joel Hanley.

Nick Leddy D New York Islanders

Teams Involved: Ottawa Senators, Arizona Coyotes, and Chicago Blackhawks

A recent name in the trade market, it looks like defenseman Nick Leddy’s time on Long Island is coming to an end with the Expansion Draft coming up. The Islanders need to shed some money, as they need to sign Adam Pelech, Anthony Beauvillier, and Ilya Sorokin to new contracts. Leddy makes $5.5 million, and is on the last year of his deal.

Projected Team: Arizona Coyotes

Things haven’t gone very nicely for the Arizona Coyotes, and this offseason, it looks as if half that defense core is going to be gone. Alex Goligoski, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jason Demers, and Jordan Oesterle are all UFAs. None have been projected to re-sign, possibly Oesterle. Leddy would probably be forced into playing top-4 minutes on the Coyotes, and with the uncertainty of captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s future, he may find himself playing top pairing minutes. I can see Leddy being packaged with a 3rd round pick, with someone like John Hayden going the other way.

Tyler Johnson F Tampa Bay Lightning

Teams Involved: Seattle Kraken, Detroit Red Wings, and Buffalo Sabres
Via NHL.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been trying so hard to get Tyler Johnson and his contract off the team. Now that the offseason has arrived and they need to shed salary, it’s likely Johnson won’t be on the team next year. They’ve tried waivers multiple times, but no team would take him. Trading him makes it hard as his contract contains a no trade clause.

Projected Team: Seattle Kraken

Via a trade, I believe the Seattle Kraken will acquire Tyler Johnson. Tampa looks to protect their players by adding a speedy 40 point player, and a sweetener which will probably be a pick in 2023 and Taylor Raddysh. Johnson has two more years with a $5 million AAV, which shouldn’t be a problem for the Kraken to take on.

Filip Forsberg W Nashville Predators

Teams Involved: Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Philadelphia Flyers, and Boston Bruins

Filip Forsberg is watching the team he helped make the Stanley Cup Final in 2017 fall apart right in front of his eyes. As of right now, there is no rumors tied to Filip Forsberg, but it’s time to start speculating. During the season, there were lots of rumors about the Nashville Predators trading Forsberg before they made a late run to the playoffs, losing in six to the Hurricanes. He was not pleased with Viktor Arvidsson being traded to the Los Angeles Kings, and saw longtime teammate Pekka Rinne retire. With one year left on his $6 million deal, I don’t think he has many intentions of re-signing, possibly opening up the possibility of a trade.

Projected Team: Colorado Avalanche

With the potential of losing their captain Gabriel Landeskog, the Colorado Avalanche have the option to replace him, and if the Avs end up re-signing him, they can add a talented 2nd line winger in Filip Forsberg. They can use him for next year’s push for a cup before everyone gets pay days. The cost could be J.T. Compher, a high B level prospect, and a pick or two.

Marc-Andre Fleury G Vegas Golden Knights

Teams Involved: Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils, and Edmonton Oilers

The Vegas Golden Knights have had Marc-Andre Fleury’s name available since last offseason. Now, going into the final year of his deal, making $7 million per, the Knights are looking to shed that money to help elsewhere. Coming off a Vezina trophy season that saw him go 26-10-0 with a .928 Sv% and a 1.98 GAA, the asking price for him will be difficult to determine, but there will be some takers.

Projected Team: Pittsburgh Penguins

Ever since Fleury got picked up by the Golden Knights in the Expansion draft, the Penguins’ goaltending has been an utter disaster. Matt Murray was relied on when Fleury was drafted, and he played poorly and got dealt to the Ottawa Senators. Tristan Jarry was then relied on and did well until the later portions of the 2021 regular season and then collapsed in the playoffs. I’m predicting that this is the final year that the Penguins have to make it past the first round of the playoffs before everything is torn down. In four years since winning the Stanley cup last, they’ve won one playoff series. The asking price is probably going to be a 2023 2nd rounder and Jarry. Of course, the familiarity helps, and if all goes sour in the regular season, Pittsburgh can ship him off at half salary for draft picks.

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