The Top 5 NHL trade deadline targets
The NHL trade deadline is just over two weeks away, so it’s time to start thinking about some of the biggest names that might find new homes before the Stanley Cup playoffs begin.
Here is our look at the Top 5 trade deadline targets, which factors in both the impact a trade would have for all parties, and the likelihood that it will happen.
5. J.T. Miller
When things looked bleak for the Vancouver Canucks earlier this season, just about any player with value on their roster was the subject of trade rumors, including Brock Boeser, Conor Garland, and J.T. Miller.
But replacement head coach Bruce Boudreau injected some new life into the roster, and suddenly the Canucks are at a crossroads; do they stand pat or add to try and make the playoffs, or take the long-term approach and sell off? If they opt for the latter, then Miller would be the most enticing trade chip they have to offer.
The former first-round pick is on pace for his most productive season in the NHL, with 22 goals and 41 assists through 55 games. Miller is 28 and still has another year left to go on his contract, so Vancouver can hold out for a good deal on him.
The Rangers have been linked to their former player, along with the Avalanche and Hurricanes.
4. John Klingberg
John Klingberg offered the Dallas Stars a “sign me or trade me” ultimatum earlier this season, and the team has done neither. This raises the possibility that the 29-year-old blueliner will be on the move within two weeks.
Generally considered a solid offensive defenseman, Klingberg has just one goal this season, which could depress his value on the market. But perhaps a change of scenery is just what he needs. The Hurricanes, Panthers, Flames, Rangers, Lightning, and Maple Leafs have all demonstrated interest.
3. Ben Chiarot
Though the Montreal Canadiens have rounded a corner under interim head coach Martin St. Louis, it’s clear that this is a lost year for them. The Habs should be looking to sell off at the deadline, starting with productive defenseman Ben Chiarot.
Chiarot, despite playing on an expiring contract, could reportedly cost a first round pick. The list of potential suitors for the stay-at-home blueliner includes the Panthers, Flames, Rangers, Blues, and Bruins.
2. Claude Giroux
Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux is in the final year of his contract, which includes a full no-movement clause and carries an $8.275 million cap hit. Those two stumbling blocks could ensure that Giroux stays put at the deadline. But if he does move, he could be the most impactful forward to do so.
Giroux has compiled nearly 900 points, and is only five games away from the millennium mark, all with the Flyers. He has 40 points over 52 games for a Philadelphia team that has no playoff hopes whatsoever.
Potential destinations include the Avalanche, Bruins, Panthers, Blues, and Hurricanes.
1. Jakob Chychrun
Jakob Chychrun is in his sixth NHL season, but is only 23 and is signed to a team-friendly deal for the following three campaigns.
The talented defenseman is in the midst of a down year (16 points, -27 rating through 44 games), but being on arguably the worst team in the league in the Arizona Coyotes can’t be helping. The Coyotes sold off several pieces last offseason, and are reportedly fielding offers for Chychrun and Phil Kessel, among others.
The asking price for Chychrun is likely very high; he could command a first-round pick and a blue-chip prospect at the least. Some Stanley Cup contenders may not be able to part with both, making it possible that Chychrun stays in the desert. But what an upgrade on the blueline he would be.
Several contenders have at least kicked the tires on Chychrun, including the Kings, Panthers, Hurricanes, Bruins, Ducks, Blues, and Maple Leafs.