NHL Rumors: Top 10 Trade Candidates for the 2022-23 Season

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Today’s NHL Rumors looks at the top Trade Bait candidates for the 2022-23 season.

At the top of the list is none other than the Calgary Flames Matthew Tkachuk, who has told the team he will not be signing a long-term deal. This now forces the Flames into a trade or risk losing him next season to unrestricted free agency after a one-year arbitration award.

The Flames filed for club-elected arbitration in order to avoid an offer sheet.

Now that the NHL Draft and Free Agent Frenzy have passed, here’s the top 10 players that will likely be moved between now and the next trade deadline.

NHL Rumors: Trade Bait

RankPlayer (Team)POSAGETERM – AAV
1Matthew Tkachuk (CGY)F24RFA – $7M
2Pierre-Luc Dubois (WPG)C24RFA – $5M
3J.T. Miller (VAN)F291 YEAR – $5.25M
4Jakob Chychrun (ARI)D243 YEARS – $4.6M
5Blake Wheeler (WPG)F352 YEARS – $8.25M
6Josh Anderson (MTL)F285 YEARS – $5.5M
7Vladimir Tarasenko (STL)F301 YEAR – $7.5M
8Patrick Kane (CHI)F331 YEAR – $10.5M
9John Gibson (ANA)G295 YEARS – $6.4M
10Jonathan Toews (CHI)C341 YEAR – $10.5M
Top Trade Candidates

A look at the top trade candidates

matthew tkachuk
Apr 21, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk (19) shows his puck from his 100th point and 40th goal of the season after the game against the Dallas Stars at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Tkachuk: He registered a career-high 104 points on the strength of 42 goals in 82 games last season. He has 382 career points in 431 games since joining the Flames, who selected him sixth overall in the 2016 draft. Tkachuk has provided Calgary a list of teams, but his preferred destination of the St. Louis Blues don’t have the cap space to take him on.

Pierre-Luc Dubois: Rocketing to the near top of the list is pending RFA Dubois after informing the Winnipeg Jets that he will test the UFA market when eligible in 2024. The 24 year-old posted 28 goals and 60 points in 81 games this past season. He’s wrapping up a two-year deal with an AAV of $5M and his agent has openly stated PLD wants to play in Montreal.

J.T. Miller: He was the Canucks leading scorer with 99 points in 80 games this past season. He has one year left on his current deal which comes at a very affordable $5.25M cap hit. Rumors indicate that his next contract will be in the 5-7 year range with an AAV around $8.5M. The Canucks have not gotten an offer they like, but still expect a good return as a rental at the deadline.

Jakob Chychrun: The Coyotes were asking for a package that started with a first round pick, a young player, and a prospect. Just prior to the draft, the Columbus Blue Jackets were trying to make a move to acquire him and may still try to get it done. Keep an eye on the Ducks and Kings as possible trade partners. He scored 21 points in 47 games last season.

Blake Wheeler: He had a solid season with 16 goals and 65 points in 60 contests. However, the Jets are going to have to eat a chunk of his cap hit in order to facilitate a trade. He has two years remaining with a whopping $8.25M AAV and very few playoff contenders can afford him at that cost. This is more likely a trade deadline deal.

Josh Anderson: The Canadiens are looking to make cap room to acquire and sign Pierre-Luc Dubois long-term. Teams will undoubtedly be ready to try and get this power forward on the cheap. Last season, he registered 19 goals and 32 points in 69 games. He’s a John Tortorella type player, who coached him in Columbus, so look for the Flyers to be in on him.

Vladimir Tarasenko: He’s entering the final year of his contract which comes with an AAV of $7.5 million. He’s also coming off a great season where he recorded 34 goals and 82 points in 75 games. Latest reports indicate that Tarasenko has not rescinded his trade request and is very open to a move. Would he go to Calgary to help free up cap space for Tkachuk?

Patrick Kane: With one year left on a deal that hits the cap at $10.5 million and a full no-move clause, Kane may soon be looking to leave the rebuilding Blackhawks. He registered 92 points in 76 games last season and would return a haul of picks and prospects. Look for this to be a trade near the deadline with the New York Rangers as the top destination.

John Gibson: Despite him dismissing trade rumors, there’s still interest in the Ducks netminder. His record last season was 18-26-11, with a GAA of 3.19 and a SV% of .904. In his 9 NHL seasons, all with Anaheim, he’s 166-148-51 and has an excellent .915 SV% to go with a 2.67 GAA. We’ll see if things change should Anaheim continue to struggle in the standings.

Jonathan Toews: The captain of the Blackhawks was upset when the team traded away Corey Crawford back in 2021. He can’t be happy with losing Alex DeBrincat either. He isn’t the same player, but his leadership and past experience will be sought by contenders at the trade deadline. Much like Kane, he has one year left at $10.5M and a full no-move clause.