Monday marks the 2022 NHL trade deadline, which always provides a lot of excitement in the hockey world. There have already been significant players moved ahead of the deadline, including Mark Giordano, Hampus Lindholm and Claude Giroux. Several more high profile players could be moved as the league’s contenders push to acquire the missing pieces for their teams. Here’s a look at four of the many potential candidates to be traded on Monday’s deadline.
Trade rumors have been swirling about the young Coyotes defenseman since the start of the league year. As part of a continued rebuilding process, Chychrun’s name has been brought up often as a player they could move for multiple assets. Of course, the Coyotes have no real urgency to make a trade unless the return is significant enough. Chychrun is a valuable player, only 23, and under contract through the 2024-25 season with a fair $4.6 million cap hit. With that in mind, it’s reported that Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong wants at least a first rounder, a prospect and a young NHL player.
Chychrun injured his ankle in a recent game against the Bruins, but it isn’t expected to hinder trade interest for him. The New York Rangers reportedly made an offer for Chychrun in January, which marks them as a team to watch. The Los Angeles Kings could also be significant players, with Drew Doughty’s injury increasing their need for more depth at the position. With the Calgary Flames also seeking upgrades to their defense, they could be dark horse contenders.
Fleury getting traded to the Blackhawks was one of the more surprising trades of this previous offseason. Now with the Blackhawks struggling and starting a rebuild, Fleury’s name has come up in the trade deadline rumor mill. However this does not guarantee he will be moved ahead of Monday’s deadline. Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson has implied that he’s fine with keeping Fleury if there isn’t an ideal trade situation. He’s reportedly asking for a first round pick and a mid round draft pick in return.
The goalie market is also rather thin with teams willing to pay that price for a rental. However, there are still some teams that could pull the trigger on a trade. The Maple Leafs goalie situation makes them a contender, but they’ve already moved assets for Mark Giordano and Colin Blackwell. The Edmonton Oilers seem like a strong contender given the uninspiring play of Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith. Other teams that may consider Fleury include the Minnesota Wild and the Washington Capitals.
The Ducks have already traded Josh Manson, Nicolas Deslauriers and Hampus Lindholm this past week. With these moves, the Ducks are established as deadline sellers and could look to move Rickard Rakell as well. The 28 year old winger has 16 goals and 12 assists through 51 games played so far. Rakell is a high quality option for a team looking to add a scoring option on their middle six. Trading for Rakell also gives the team that trades for him an advantageous position if they want to extend him, as he’s a pending free agent. It should be noted that Rakell is dealing with a lower body injury that’s held him out of the last three games. Assuming that doesn’t deter teams from wanting to trade for him, he could have several suitors. Those suitors include the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Minnesota Wild.
Unlike his Coyotes teammate Jakob Chychrun, it seems highly probable that Kessel will be moved. Kessel is in the middle of one of his lowest scoring seasons, only having 6 goals through 61 games. Regardless, he’s still a highly talented offensive player and has a lot to offer a contending team. Specifically, his playoff experience will be vital for a team trying to make a deep run. Kessel has been on 8 playoff teams in his career, most notably the 2016 and 2017 Pittsburgh Penguins teams that won back to back cups.
His veteran presence and offensive ability will have plenty of teams interested in a trade. The Colorado Avalanche showed some interest in Kessel over the summer, so they should be a team to watch, especially after missing out on Claude Giroux. He could also find his way back to one of his former teams, with the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins looking to add to their forward group. The New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild are additional teams to watch for a Kessel trade.
Featured image courtesy of NHL
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