NHL Trade Deadline Predictions: Top 5 trade bait candidates and where they land

Apr 6, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno (71) celebrates a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL Trade Deadline is tomorrow at 3:00 pm e.t. and although big names have come off the board in Kyle Palmieri and David Savard there are plenty more to go. Let’s take a look at the top five names still out there and where they are likely to land.

NHL Trade Deadline: Taylor Hall

nhl rumors taylor hall
Mar 13, 2021; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres left wing Taylor Hall (4) waits for the face-off during the second period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Taylor Hall is still sitting at home waiting for a trade. The Sabres have opted to scratch him in order to protect against injury. As the talk heats up around him, the latest is that the delay has something to do with a possible trade and sign with his new team.

The Islanders were said to be very close to acquiring Hall before they pulled the trigger on Kyle Palmieri. I can’t rule out Lou Lamoriello using Hall as a way to force Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald to also include Travis Zajac in the deal since Lou hates to give up first round picks.

When it comes to destinations, several insiders state the Islanders may still be interested but I have my doubts. Other teams said to be in the mix are the Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. While the Oilers are intriguing it’s tough math for them. Boston feels the ask is too high, and where are the Leafs getting the cap space?

Prediction: Panthers go all out and add Taylor Hall for a playoff run.

NHL Trade Deadline: Nick Foligno

Columbus Blue Jackets
Nick Foligno (NHLI)

The Jackets added another L on their record. They are pretty much done this season when looking at the playoffs in the Central Division. Nick Foligno will be a UFA and may be ready to move on to a playoff team. “We’ll have a conversation if something does come up,” Foligno said per The Athletic.

“If there’s something that needs to be presented, we’ll talk. Otherwise, I’m just going to go about my business the way I always have,” he explained. “It’s definitely unique hearing your name out there. Until I’m told otherwise, I’ll continue to come here and do what I do and continue to be the person I’ve always been.”

That something could be the Minnesota Wild and a chance to play with his brother Marcus Foligno. On Saturday Headlines, Elliotte Friedman mentioned that he believes the Wild are interested. Another team that could be in on Foligno are the Maple Leafs.

Prediction: Nick Foligno heads to Minnesota as a rental, re-signs with Columbus in the offseason.

NHL Trade Deadline: Mike Hoffman

mike hoffman
Mar 8, 2021; San Jose, California, USA; St. Louis Blues left wing Mike Hoffman (68) warms up before the game against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Blues scratched Mike Hoffman for two games before reinserting him into the lineup last night. He scored twice and is likely raising his trade value in preparation for tomorrow. “It’s part of the business that we work in,” he said afterwards. “Those are the things that happen throughout a season. Sometimes, you’ve got to deal with them.”

Hoffman is in the top three on TSN’s Trade Bait Board. Only Columbus’ David Savard and Buffalo’s Taylor Hall are ahead of him. I fully expect him to be moved. I’m thinking Boston who missed out on Palmieri and may not be able to afford Hall are the most likely candidates to get him.

Prediction: Boston Bruins add scoring depth with Mike Hoffman.

NHL Trade Deadline: Mikael Granlund

nhl rumors maple leafs
Mar 19, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators center Mikael Granlund (64) and Predators right wing Wayne Simmonds (17) celebrate after a goal against Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) during the third period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Granlund is 29 years old and on a one year deal with the Predators. He has 17 points in 38 games this season in Nashville and plays both center and wing. He’s been attached to the Maple Leafs since February.

“After scouring the league I believe the Leafs primary target at this point is Nashville Predator forward Mikael Granlund,” Frank Seravalli said. While there’s been plenty of Maple Leafs rumors since that March 24th update, I don’t think this has changed.

There’s also some thought that Nashville is unwilling to make a deal because they are now legit playoff contenders. However, David Poile probably knows that his team could still get in without Granlund and acquiring another draft pick is always a good thing.

Prediction: Leafs acquire Granlund for playoffs.

NHL Trade Deadline: Ryan Getzlaf

ryan getzlaf
Ryan Getzlaf (NHLI/Getty Images)

This one is my wildcard. The Ducks are on record they will not trade Ryan Getzlaf unless he asks to be moved. I believe tomorrow a deal will come along that the veteran center won’t be able to pass up and he waives his no trade clause to go.

Chris Johnston last night said Getzlaf’s name is now being bandied about over the last 24-48 hours. Two teams he mentioned were the Vegas Golden Knights and the Montreal Canadiens. Elliotte Friedman followed that up by saying he doesn’t think he’s going anywhere but I’m thinking he does.

My team – the Pittsburgh Penguins. Brian Burke will bring in one of his former players to help Sidney Crosby go for another Stanley Cup.

Prediction: Penguins trade for Getzlaf at the 3:00 PM hour.