31 NHL Trade Deadline Targets

nhl trade targets
Feb 27, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate the game winning goal by Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) during the first overtime period between the New York Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL trade deadline is six weeks away. Let’s take a look at one potential trade target from each team in the league. They will range from names churning in the rumor mill to some intriguing possibilities as well.

North Division NHL Trade Targets

Calgary Flames – Sam Bennett (C, RFA at $2.55M): The 24 year-old is struggling this season but he is a tough and nasty center many teams will covet for a playoff run.

Edmonton Oilers – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (FWD, UFA at $6M): At 27 years of age, the forward will be a UFA at season’s end. He will fetch a nice return if the Oilers don’t think they can sign him.

ryan nugent-hopkins
Oilers and Nugent-Hopkins no longer talking (NHLI)

Montreal Canadiens – Phillip Danault (C, UFA at $3.083M): The Habs have a lot of centers and both sides are saying the right things. It is still plausible that no extension will be reached making the 27 year-old Danault a target at the deadline.

Ottawa Senators – Erik Gubranson (D, UFA at $4M): The Sens will have plenty of players to trade, but as a target I think teams will be asking for the 29 year-old defenseman.

Toronto Maple Leafs – Zach Hyman (FWD, UFA at $2.25M): I doubt the Leafs want to part ways with the 28 year-old, but he’s going to want a nice raise and term on his next deal. Simple math says they will need to listen to offers.

Vancouver Canucks – J.T. Miller (LW, 2 years left at $5.25M): The Canucks are likely going to have to make some serious decisions at the deadline. With their cap issues, they may look to move the 27 year-old Miller who scored 27 goals and 72 points last season. He would fetch a nice haul of young cost effective players/picks from many teams.

Winnipeg Jets – Pierre Luc-Dubois (C, 1 year left at $5M): I know what you’re thinking, they just got him. But things haven’t started off well and the Jets have to ask Dubois is he’s open to signing a long term deal there. If I’m asking these questions, you don’t think other GM’s aren’t? If I’ve learned one thing covering this game – nothing surprise me anymore.

East Division NHL Trade Targets

Boston Bruins – David Krejci (C, UFA at $7.25M): The 34 year-old is a smart veteran center that due to his UFA status teams will look in on as a rental. That being said, the Bruins are a contender and probably see more value in keeping him and letting him walk for nothing at free agency.

Buffalo Sabres – Eric Staal (C, UFA at $3.25M): There are plenty of players teams will be asking Buffalo about at the deadline. Taylor Hall would be the obvious choice but rumors say he may want to re-sign with the Sabres. That’s why 36 year-old Eric Staal makes more sense for contenders this year, and he’ll come cheap – maybe a mid round pick

nhl trade targets
Jan 30, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Eric Staal (12) waits for the face-off during the second period against the New Jersey Devils at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

New Jersey Devils – Kyle Palmieri (FWD, UFA at $4.65M): The Devils are likely to be sellers at the deadline and will have a few players to offer up. Out of them all, teams are likely to ask for 30 year-old Palmieri.

New York Islanders – Casey Cizikas (C, UFA at $3.35M): The Islanders will continue to offer up the unwanted Leo Komarov in hopes of shedding is $3M cap hit but teams will probably come asking for Cizikas. The 29 year-old is just what playoffs teams want. Unless the Isles are out of it, I doubt they move him.

New York Rangers – Pavel Buchnevich (RW, RFA $3.25M): The Rangers are a very interesting team come this trade deadline. Will they be ready to pounce if Jack Eichel demands a trade? Is there another center that becomes available? Will they be sellers? Just note that Pavel Buchnevich is ready for a nice pay raise and is an RFA at season’s end. Teams will come asking for the 25 year-old scoring forward.

Philadelphia Flyers – Travis Sanheim (D, RFA $3.25M): While the Flyers would love to move Jame van Riemsdyk and his $7M cap hit, or Shayne Gostisbehere’s $4.5M – I doubt there will be takers. Philly is also a buyer at the deadline, but it won’t stop some teams from checking in on 24 year-old defender Travis Sanheim.

Pittsburgh Penguins – Kris Letang (D, 1 year left at $7.25M): Yes, I heard Brian Burke say the Penguins are in win-now mode. But there will be teams that feel they are a Kris Letang away from the Cup. They will also want to get ahead of other teams should the Penguins fail to make the playoffs and start moving aging stars like the 33 year-old Letang.

Washington Capitals – Conor Sheary (FWD, UFA $735k): The Capitals are likely going to be buyers but if there was one obvious candidate to other teams to target it’s 28 year-old Sheary. He’s a depth forward that the Caps could get a draft pick for.

Central Division NHL Trade Targets

Carolina Hurricanes – Dougie Hamilton (D, UFA at $5.75M): The 27 year-old is someone many teams will target. With Carolina being a contender, it’s hard to see them move him. However, his status as a pending UFA gets him on the list.

Chicago Blackhawks – Jonathan Toews (C, 2 years left at $10.5M): The Blackhawks captain is on LTIR with an undisclosed illness. First and foremost, let’s wish him well. Should Toews get back into action this season, the rebuilding Hawks will likely get a few inquiries about the 32 year-old center who could take a few teams over the top.

Columbus Blue Jackets – David Savard (D, UFA at $4.25M): David Savard is not someone John Tortorella would like to part with, but Columbus can’t afford to let any asset walk at free agency for nothing. They will get inquiries on the 30 year-old rearguard.

Dallas Stars – Andrew Cogliano (C/W, UFA at $3.25M): The Stars have a lot of players hitting free agency this summer. However, Cogliano is the type of depth forward playoff teams look for.

Detroit Red Wings – Marc Staal (D, UFA at $5.7M): The Rangers shockingly traded him this past offseason and it’s very likely Detroit moves him at the deadline. The 34 year-old defenseman is playing well and providing leadership for a young and struggling Wings team. He will be a hot commodity at the deadline.

marc staal trade rumors
Feb 13, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators center Yakov Trenin (13) plays the puck out of the air against Detroit Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal (18) during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Florida Panthers – Alex Wennberg (C, UFA at $2.25M): At 26 years-old he is just hitting his stride in the NHL. Wennberg is a player teams may ask if Florida is willing to move. Expect the Panthers to be buyers at the deadline, but I could see them consider moving him.

Nashville Predators – Mikael Granlund (C/W, UFA at $3.75M): The Predators are saying they have three untouchables and everyone else is up for grabs. Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis are staying put as is Pekka Rinne. While people will ask about Filip Forsberg, Mikael Grandlund is the realistic rental piece here.

Tampa Bay Lightning – Alex Killorn (LW, 2 years left at $4.5M): Tampa is going to need to clear cap space at some point. They would also like to add a piece for another Cup run. I think since Killorn’s name was out there, teams looking to get over the top and into the postseason may ask about the rugged forward.

West Division NHL Trade Targets

Anaheim Ducks – Ryan Getzlaf (C, UFA at $8.25M): Recent reporting out of Anaheim have them not thinking about asking Getzlaf to waive and leaving that decision to him. Regardless, teams will come asking about him at the deadline for a playoff run.

Arizona Coyotes – Alex Goligoski (D, UFA at $5.475M): The Coyotes have plenty of players coming up on expiring contracts and will be moving many for draft picks. However, the 35 Goligoski would be my pick of the litter to go after first.

Colorado Avalanche – Brandon Saad (W, UFA at $5M): The Avalanche are going to be buyers at the deadline. That being said, what is the future of Saad? If they can’t come to an agreement, he could be used in a bigger trade. No doubt, some teams will ask about the 28 year-old.

nhl trade targets
Feb 22, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; NHL linesman Vaughan Rody (73) drops the puck for Vegas Golden Knights center Cody Glass (9) and Colorado Avalanche left wing Brandon Saad (20) in the first period at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings – Jonathan Quick (G, 2 years left at $5.8M): Now that Marc-Andre Fleury has officially been moved out of play by Knights owner Bill Foley, teams are going to come asking for the 35 year-old Quick. The Seattle Expansion is coming up and it looks like Quick will be the goalie L.A. exposes.

Minnesota Wild – Nick Bonino (C, UFA at $4.1M): At 32 years-old he can still add much needed depth to a contender’s playoff aspirations. While Matt Dumba will be the talk for the Wild at the deadline, Bonino is the easy target to acquire.

San Jose Sharks – Tomas Hertl (C/W, 1 year left at $5.625M): I can’t put my finger on what the Sharks are just yet. At this point they are middle of the road team with not much hope for success. If the Sharks want to move the needle, they’ll need to listen to offers on one of their more desirable pieces. With one year left on his deal, some teams will come asking about Hertl.

St. Louis Blues – Vince Dunn (D, RFA at $1.875M): The Blues have already put his name out there. Expect talks to ramp up for Dunn at the deadline. This was an easy one to pick.

Vegas Golden Knights – Alec Martinez (D, UFA at $4M): Blue-liners are always sought after at the trade deadline. Teams are going to ask about 33 year-old pending UFA Martinez. I see the Knights as buyers at the deadline, but that’s the guy teams will ask them about.