NHL free agency continues to move along with a number of quality players still available. However there is also a tremendous amount of value in the current trade market. Several high profile players have been made available for offseason trades ahead of the 2023-24 season. Let’s take a look at some of the top targets on the NHL trade market.
There are multiple reports saying that Ducks goaltender John Gibson has requested a trade from the team. If true, Gibson will be a very valuable asset to be had. He’s only 30 years old and has four years remaining on his contract which carries a $6.4 million cap hit.
Gibson has a career 2.83 GAA and a .912 save percentage in 10 seasons with the Ducks. He’s coming off the worst season of his career but it came playing behind a last place team. Having a better team in front of him should help bring him back to his above average form. Teams who missed out on a very thin free agent goalie class will no doubt be clamoring to acquire Gibson. He can provide a huge upgrade in net over the next several years for a playoff hopeful team.
It was recently reported that Evgeny Kuznetsov has requested a trade from the Capitals. He has two years remaining on his contract which carries a yearly $7.8 million cap hit.
The center is coming off a tough offensive season that saw get only 12 goals but finish with 55 points total. Despite that, Kuznetsov has always been a reliable player in his career. He can consistently produce points at a high level and also works very well on the power play. He’s also done some decent work as a penalty killer over the last couple seasons. A team in search of an offensive-oriented center for their top six will be well suited to acquire Kuznetsov.
After failing to trade Erik Karlsson at last season’s trade deadline the Sharks are again trying to find a suitor for him this offseason. The struggle in moving the reigning Norris Trophy winner comes courtesy of his ridiculously high $11.5 million cap hit over the next four seasons. But once the contract details are dealt with, Karlsson could be a game changing addition to a team’s blue line.
He just put in the best offensive season of his career at age 33 by tallying 25 goals and 102 total points. And that is even more impressive considering the not so great Sharks team he was playing around. Additionally, with 14 seasons in the NHL and three Norris Trophies to his name, Karlsson will bring a great veteran presence. These qualities will make the price of acquiring Karlsson well worth it to a team with legitimate postseason aspirations.
Elias Lindholm/Noah Hanifin
Tyler Toffoli was the first domino to fall in what’s expected to be a huge overhaul for the Flames over the next year. Up next to be traded could be the likes of Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin. Both are on the last year of their contracts, Lindholm’s with a $4.85 million cap hit and Hanifin’s with a $4.95 million cap hit.
Lindholm is 28-years-old and checks a lot of boxes for the center position. He packs a big punch offensively, crossing the 20 goal threshold for the fourth time in his career last season. He’s also produced double digit points on the power play eight times in his 10 year career. Lindholm is also great at the faceoff circle, finishing 9th in faceoff win percentage in 2022-23 while owning a 53% career faceoff win percentage.
Hanifin is just 26-years-old and has quickly established himself as a highly effective puck moving defenseman. He’s coming off of his two best offensive seasons, netting 48 points in 2022 and 38 last season. The time Hanifin has spent on the Flames’ top defensive pairing also speaks volumes to his abilities. Add that to the fact that he’s just entering his athletic prime and he can continue to grow as an NHL blueliner.
Both Lindholm and Hanifin will make for extremely valuable contributors for any team that may trade for them.
Featured image courtesy of NHL.com
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