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NHL Trade Board: The top five players at each position

A graphic displays the title NHL Trade Deadline above images of four NHL players: John Gibson, Noah Hanifin, Jake Guentzel and Adam Henrique. There is a hockey rink in the background and a row of ice cubes at the bottom. An Intermission Sports logo is in the bottom corner.
(Graphic by Fredrick Reyes)

We’re only a few weeks away from the NHL Trade Deadline. Instead of a typical trade bait board, today we’re looking at five names at each position who could get moved before or on Mar. 8.  

 

The truth is, it doesn’t look to be the most exciting deadline this year. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t keep the speculation going and have a bit of fun along the way.

 

Centres

Adam Henrique – Anaheim Ducks

$5,825,000 (UFA 2024) 

M-NTC 10 team no-trade list 

The Elias Lindholm and Sean Monahan trades have set the market for rental centres, and it isn’t especially cheap. Anaheim has got to take advantage of that.


The Ducks have over $8 million in cap space so they could very well retain some of Henrique’s contract to get even more value for the veteran, who has 36 points in 54 games this season.  

 

Scott Laughton – Philadelphia Flyers

 $3,000,000 (UFA 2026)

 Similar to Thomas Vanek being traded for a mid-round pick in the 2010s, Scott Laughton trade talk feels like a free bingo space in recent years. It feels like every season we hear insiders say, “Well, the Flyers are getting a lot of calls on Laughton, other teams love him, but I don’t think they’re moving him.” Let’s see if the 29-year-old can actually fetch something this year.

 

Trevor Zegras – Anaheim Ducks

$5,750,000 (RFA 2026 ARBITRATION-ELIGIBLE)

Perhaps I’m just having fun with this one but it's my list and I’ll do what I want. A Zegras trade makes a lot more sense come the summer, but this deadline needs some spice. 

 

The hero of the 2021 USA World Junior team is better than the seven points in 20 games he has this season. He may never be a complete 200-foot player, but any team should be interested in a player as offensively gifted as Zegras.  

 

A distressed asset from the 2019 draft you say?

Kent Hughes is calling already. 

 

Nic Dowd – Washington Capitals

$1,300,000 (UFA 2025) 

If NHL teams love anything, it's affordable, experienced, and cheap depth players at the deadline. 

 

Dowd’s affordable cap hit along with having an additional year on his contract means he’ll be a target for any contender. His eight goals and 16 points on the year say he probably is worth a middle-round draft pick, but NHL GMs love their gritty depth guys.

 

Boone Jenner – Columbus Blue Jackets

$3,750,000 (UFA 2026) 

M-NTC 8 team no-trade clause

Now…I know the Blue Jackets have said that Jenner isn’t going anywhere, but hear me out.

 

They’re stupid. 

 

Jenner is a lot like Laughton, the type of centreman who “plays the right way.” Columbus has the opportunity to take advantage of a strong centre market with lots of picks and prospects flying around, and Jenner is strong in his own zone and capable of chipping in offensively here and there, so there might be potential. 

 

Columbus needs a reset more than they realize. They have a chance to build around young talent like David Jiricek, Adam Fantilli and Kent Johnson and let veterans like Johnny Gaudreau and Zach Werenski help them along the way.  

 

Turn the page and get the assets, I say. 

 

Wingers

Jake Guentzel PIT

$6,000,000 (UFA 2024) 

M-NTC 12 team no-trade list 

Guentzel is set to return from injury right around the trade deadline but that shouldn’t scare teams away. 

 

A two-time 40-goal scorer and one of the best linemates Sidney Crosby has ever had, any team looking to add scoring upfront should be calling Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas nonstop. The only question is whether the Penguins are willing to pull the trigger on a Guentzel trade. 

 

It's unfathomable to think of a team with Crosby on its roster selling off pieces but Pittsburgh's inconsistencies this season are hard to ignore. A team with Crosby on it should try to compete every year, but at what point does Kyle Dubas accept that this season isn’t the time to go for it? 

 

Anthony Duclair – San Jose Sharks

$3,000,000 (UFA 2024) 

From the moment San Jose acquired Anthony Duclair this past summer, it was all but given he was getting dealt.


Any team looking for a middle-six scorer will be targeting Duclair, who has a respectable 11 goals and 19 points. 

 

Vladimir Tarasenko – Ottawa Senators

$5,000,000 (UFA 2024) 

NTC

We’ll all look back at Vladimir Tarasenko’s HockeyDB page in a few years and think oh yeahhhh he was a Sen for a minute there. 

 

Tarasenko may not be a 40-goal scorer anymore, but he can still provide offence. Like Duclair, the best role for the 32-year-old is in a team’s middle-six with some PP2 time.  

 

Kaapo Kakko – New York Rangers

$2,100,000 (RFA 2024) ARBITRATION ELIGIBLE

With Filip Chytil out for the season with an undisclosed upper-body injury, the Rangers will be looking desperately at centres this deadline. With Kakko reportedly on the trade block, he could be the perfect trade piece to help bring in some support down the middle.

 

Pat Maroon – Minnesota Wild

$1,000,000 (UFA 2024) 

M-NTC 16-team no-trade clause 

Your eyes do not deceive you. According to CapFriendly, Pat Maroon does indeed have a 16-team no-trade clause.


And he is a top-five trade candidate on the wing.

 

Defencemen

Noah Hanifin – Calgary Flames

$4,950,000 (RFA 2024) 

M-NTC 8 team no-trade clause 

Elliotte Friedman confirmed on 32 Thoughts Noah Hanifin will be hitting the market, so the Calgary Flames are looking to be the league's one-stop-shop for defence this deadline.

 

Hanifin is the definition of an all-situations defender and has been one of the few bright spots in Calgary. We here at Intermission Sports jokingly call him the new-age Jay Bouwmeester. 

 

Dear NHL General Managers, if you’re overpaying on any defenceman this deadline, let it be Hanifin. 

 

Chris Tanev – Calgary Flames

$4,500,000 (UFA 2024) 

M-NTC 10 team no-trade clause 

Here we are, everyone! Presenting the gritty defenceman a team is going to end up overpaying for this trade deadline!

 

Like David Savard and Ben Chiarot before him, let’s get nuts and guess a first-round pick and B-level prospect as the return Calgary ends up getting for him. 

 

Even more fun, let’s guess the Flames get more for Tanev than they do for Hanifin. 

 

Sean Walker – Philadephia Flyers

$2,650,000 (UFA 2024)

If your team is looking for a right-handed defenceman with high hockey IQ, compete level and defensive awareness who won’t cost as much as Tanev, Sean Walker is your guy. 


He is on pace for a career-high in points too, so he could be a valuable addition.

 

Tyson Barrie – Nashville Predators

$4,500,000 (UFA 2024)

Teams love having as many right-handed defencemen as possible, so a contender in need of a puck mover who can work a power play could probably pick Barrie up for cheap. 

 

The Maple Leafs could sure use another offensive defenceman. Perhaps we could see that couple get back together? 

 

Philip Broberg – Edmonton Oilers

$863,333 (RFA 2024)

The eighth overall pick in the 2019 draft is the wildcard of the deadline. Broberg hasn’t been able to carve out a spot on Edmonton’s blue line and seems to be on the way out.

 

The Oilers have made it clear Broberg won’t be dealt for a rental, so if he is moved, you’re looking at a player with term. If you’re Edmonton, you would probably like a player in the same age range in return…. like another 2019 draft pick seemingly approaching divorce with the team who drafted him…Connor McDavid and Trevor Zegras would be pretty fun to watch. Just saying.

 

Goalies

Jacob Markstrom – Calgary Flames

$6,000,000 (UFA 2026)

NMC

This season has been a bounce-back for Markstrom. The Swedish netminder has thrown up a .913 sv% in 35 games and resembled the $36,000,000 goalie Calgary signed in 2020. 

 

It doesn’t take a genius to link a goaltender like Markstrom to New Jersey, but his no-movement clause means he decides where he goes. Could Carolina be a fit as well? Or Los Angeles?

 

That six million dollar cap hit also begs the question of how much Calgary might have to or is willing to retain to make a trade work. 


Kaapo Kähkönen – San Jose Sharks

$2,750,000 (UFA 2024)

Kähkönen currently sits at a .905 sv%, miles better than the .883 he had last season. With only 128 NHL games to his name, and a good portion of them being played on a laughably bad San Jose team, another franchise could take a chance on him. 

 

It’s also safe to assume the asking price wouldn’t be too high. 

 

The reason why the Helsinki-born netminder is on this list over fellow San Jose Sharks goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood is Kähkönen’s UFA status as opposed to Blackwood having an additional year left on his deal.


Jake Allen – Montreal Canadiens

$3,850,000 (UFA 2025) 

M-NTC 7 team no-trade list

Jake Allen’s value has plummeted this season. The Habs won’t get much in terms of assets and will most likely need to retain if they want to move him during the season, which could present a problem given Montreal' is currently using two of the three contract retention slots every team gets. 


Needing to use that final spot on Allen would mean no more retention spots, which handicaps the Canadiens’ ability to move out any more cap until the summer, when Joel Edmundson’s contract will end.


That said, he feels like a commodity at this deadline.


Juuse Saros – Nashville Predators

$5,000,000 (UFA 2025)

With Marc-Andre Fleury reportedly staying put in Minnesota, we’re pivoting to another established goaltender. 


(Please NHL GMs don’t make me change this article for a third time.) 


TSN reported that Nashville were listening to offers on Saros but their current six-game winning streak has seemingly changed the tides. It seems a Saros trade is unlikely to happen prior to the deadline unless general manager Barrie Trotz gets an offer he can’t refuse. 


It’s odd that one winning streak is changing the Predators’ deadline plans when they’ve had 60 games to evaluate their team, but go ahead and get whooped by Vancouver in the first round, I guess! 


Maybe it’ll go five games!


John Gibson – Anaheim Ducks

$6,400,000 (UFA 2027)

M-NTC 10 team no-trade list

At this point, it's hard not to feel bad for John Gibson.

 

If anyone’s still wondering why John Gibson is still a Duck after all the trade rumours over the past few years, this famous Roberto Luongo quote is the answer you’re looking for.

 

An answer Gibson would probably give himself. 

 

“My contract sucks.”

 

His trade clause would be a hurdle itself but mix in a cap hit north of six million and another four seasons of term and it seems like moving a mountain. Which, funny enough, is what some teams could use in net.

 

Wrapping it up 

Mar. 8 is shaping up to be a forgettable trade deadline, but sometimes it’s not the big blockbusters that win championships. 

 

Traditionally the teams who win the Stanley Cup use the deadline to fill out the bottom of their lineups. Just ask the Tampa Bay Lightning.

 

It's rarely the biggest move that pays off the most come April, May, and June. Who knows, maybe the team you cheer for gets the no-name fourth-line winger, but that winger is the guy who ends up scoring the cup-winning goal. 


Or maybe they pay a king’s ransom for a guy who loses his scoring touch. You never know.

 

All contract info via capfriendly.com. What would we do without them... 

 

Loads more deadline content is coming your way from us here at Intermission Sports. Stay tuned!


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