NHL TOP TRADE TARGETS

2023-02-26 · 3 min read · NHL/Hockey
Timo Meier, Patrick Kane and Jakob Chychrun

USA TODAY Sports | Sergei Belski | Norm Hall/NHLI

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching let's take a look at some of the top targets that are likely to be moved.
Timo Meier (San Jose Sharks)
  • With Horvat, Tarasenko and O’Reilly off the table, Meier seems to be the deadliest forward left on the market. Through 57 games so far this season the Swiss winger has 52 points and 31 goals, and that's with a less than stellar supporting cast surrounding him on this year’s Sharks squad. Meier will be an RFA at the end of the season and is only 26, so he could really benefit a team just entering their contention window through the possibility of a reasonable extension. Meier is currently day to day with an upper body injury, but it is doubtful that will affect his value.
  • Best Fits - New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes, Vegas Golden Knights
  • EDIT - Meier has reportedly been traded to the Devils, details to come
Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks)
  • The long-time Blackhawk will be a strange sight to see in another uniform. Despite being 34 years old Kane seemingly still has a good amount of gas in the tank, as evidenced by his 45 points in 54 games this season. Moving Kane will require jumping some hurdles as Kane has a full no-trade clause and his cap hit is $10.5 million, meaning the Hawks will likely need to retain salary, but given it's the last year of his contract that shouldn't be a major issue; lastly, he is a bit of a liability on the defensive end. Kane however has a proven track record as an elite playmaker and playoff performer, plus he has been hot recently with 10 points in his last four games including seven goals.
  • Best Fits - Carolina Hurricanes, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers (cap will be tricky)
Jakob Chychrun (Arizona Coyotes)
  • Chychrun has been held out of the lineup for the Coyotes for trade-related reasons since Feb 11. The 24-year-old, who requested a trade last season, has 28 points (seven goals, 21 assists) in 36 games this season and leads the Coyotes in ice time per game (23:16). The young blueliner has two years remaining on his contract at a reasonable 4.6 cap hit. Chychrun could be a boon to a team needing some offensive firepower from the back end.
  • Best Fits - Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals
Vladislav Gavrikov (Columbus Blue Jackets)
  • Gavrikov was apparently almost moved already as the Blue Jackets are believed to have thought they had a deal in place with the Boston Bruins before Boston picked up Dmitry Orlov from the Washington Capitals. Gavrikov doesn't have stellar numbers with 10 points in 52 games this season, but he plays for a less than stellar Columbus team and has solid defensive metrics. It seems like a move to a more competitive and structured team would benefit his numbers. In the final year of his contract and with a modest 2.8mm cap hit he feels like a risk worth taking for contending teams needing a solid, if not unspectacular defenseman.
  • Best Fits - Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers
Tyler Bertuzzi (Detroit Red Wings)
  • Detroit has been hot recently going 7-3 in their last ten and currently sitting in a tie with Buffalo and Florida for the second wild card spot in the East. Due to this it is possible the Wings decide to move Bertuzzi, especially if they think they could re-sign him as an UFA after the season. If the Red Wings start to falter or if they don't think they can re-sign him he will be quick to hit the market. Given his young age (28), solid production (13 points in 26 games), physicality, and a reasonable cap hit of 4.75, they won't have trouble moving him.
  • Best Fits – New Jersey Devils, Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins
Honourable mentions
  • Erik Karlsson (San Jose Sharks) - Karlsson has been a major name in trade rumours this season but his career resurgence and large salary (11.5 cap four years left) make him tough to move. Yet his impressive play this year is hard to deny, so is the impact he could have on a playoff team.
  • Max Domi (Chicago Blackhawks) - Domi is leading the Blackhawks in scoring with 46 points in 57 games, his best season since 18-19. Domi signed a one-year deal with the Blackhawks, but they may not want to move him if they see him as a good fit and part of the future, although a catch-release-resign could be in the cards, as alluded to above in the Bertuzzi excerpt.
  • Brock Boeser (Canucks) - Boeser feels like a player that simply needs a change of scenery. In Boeser’s first full season in the league in 17-18, he played 62 games and had 55 points. Since then Boeser has seemed to regress and has struggled with injuries, but if healthy and with a different team it feels like he can have a resurgence.
Just Missed
  1. Adam Henrique (Anaheim Ducks)
  2. James Van Riemsdyk (Philadelphia Flyers)
  3. Matt Dumba/Luke Schenn (Minnesota Wild/ Vancouver Canucks)
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By: Chase Howard

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