Ten Prospects That May Be Moved on Trade Deadline Day

Just as the title suggests, this is a list in no particular order of prospects that could prove to be valuable commodities leading up to the NHL trade deadline.  GMs of teams that emerge as buyers might have to dangle such prospects to land the perceived difference- making players they desire in their quest for hockey’s Holy Grail.

Brayden Schenn (Los Angeles Kings)

(Icon SMI)

The Kings have previously made it known that Schenn is not in play, but now the bar has been set by some of the intriguing trades that have already occurred. GM Dean Lombardi would likely love to make a splash and obtain a high end forward and may have to pay the piper to do so.

Beau Bennett (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Is Penguins GM Ray Shero done after dealing Alex Goligoski for James Neal and Matt Niskanen? I think not as he seeks further help for the forward ranks. The offensively dynamic forward has had a solid debut with the University of Denver Pioneers with 19 points in 27 games so far this season. The return would have to be significant to deal this young gun.

Evgeny Kuznetsov (Washington Capitals)

GM George McPhee almost assuredly has to make a Dustin Penner cannonball of a splash on or before D-day – NHL trade deadline day that is. The Russian forward prospect can be one of the top offensive players in the world of his age. One catch – when he wants to play, that is. Sound like a familiar formula for a forward on the Capitals?

*Note: I am in no way inferring the Caps should trade for Penner; he was simply the biggest player on the trade block I could think of that could make one heck of a cannonball splash.

Jordan Schroeder (Vancouver Canucks)

The skilled forward’s stock may have dropped this season, but the Canucks injury depleted blueline may force their hand to deal a still valuable asset. With their Cup aspirations, at the very least GM Mike Gillis will likely want to add another key piece to the talented Canuck squad.

Carter Ashton (Tampa Bay Lightning)

GM Steve Yverman has already added Eric Brewer in a nice move, but as much as he likes Ashton as a potential future power forward in the big leagues, he may yet want to tinker with the Lightning roster. Ashton has notched 24 points in 18 games since being traded to the Tri-City Americans in the WHL.

Carter Ashton: Target: Locked! (Liam Richards - Flickr)

Jeremy Morin (Chicago Blackhawks)

Should GM Stan Bowman perform some creative and heroic salary cap manoeuvring, offensive forward Morin might find himself with his third NHL franchise.  It’s getting close to desperation time for the defending Stanley Cup champions in their bid just to make the playoffs.

Carl Klingberg (Atlanta Thrashers)

The Thrashers are on the verge of flipping to sellers rather than buyers. Should GM Rick Dudley decide the Thrashers are in the Eastern Conference playoff mix still, the two-way forward with good size might be on the wish lists of opposing GMs. He had 3 goals in 6 games at this year’s World Juniors for Team Sweden.

Dylan McIlrath (New York Rangers)

The Rangers always seem to be buyers. McIlrath is an intriguing blend of size, tenacity, skating ability and potential. The Rangers are not always the most patient organization, however, and Dylan is likely coveted by many a NHL GM.

Taylor Doherty (San Jose Sharks)

Speaking of trade deadline splashes, the 6’8” towering blueliner is a candidate to help GM Doug Wilson make a big one. He was drafted as a project prospect. His offensive development at the OHL level may have already surpassed what some might have thought him capable of. He has 43 points in 56 games. The team that always leaves you wanting more come playoff time will once again be looking to find that key player that gets them over the playoff hump. Good luck indeed, Mr. Wilson.

–  Jarred Tinordi (Montreal Canadiens)

The Canadiens have roster holes that need plugging other than in goal. Tinordi is a desirable prospect as yet another tall defenseman. Tinordi, at this point, projects to be a physical shutdown defensive defenseman.  It took him some time to acclimatize to the OHL, but is developing into a force in his own zone.

Christopher Ralph is THW’s prospect and draft analyst.

*Follow The Hockey Spy on Twitter as I infiltrate, dissect and analyze happenings of hockey prospects and the NHL entry draft.

Christopher Ralph

Christopher Ralph

Managing Editor/Lead Prospect &Draft Analyst at THW
Chris is THW's senior draft/prospect analyst and a Managing Editor. Watch for Chris' regular column "The Next Ones" Prospect Profile series as well as the annual THW NHL Entry Draft Guide. Follow @ChrisRalphTHW on Twitter as he infiltrates, dissects and analyzes all happenings of hockey prospects and the NHL entry draft. Email: cralph[at]thehockeywriters[dot]com
Christopher Ralph
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10 Comments

  1. Andrew Knoll says:

    Just a response to the above … there were really not that many deals involving prospects overall.

  2. Andrew Knoll says:

    None of those guys were traded.

  3. Just checking says:

    So, I know a few prospects got traded this year around the deadline. Where did Schenn end up? How many in your list of well-informed guesses have been traded?

  4. Right, and there are always the shockers, who saw the Colorado-St. Louis deal coming???

    • Exactly. I’m still trying to evaluate who won that deal. While initially one may call out the Blues as the obvious winner, but not so fast. Stewart off to quick start in St. Lou, but consistency is his problem, as is play in his own zone. Where Erik Johnson’s development grows from here is the definite key.

  5. Fair assessment Andrew and a fantastic backing up of your cases! Tough to argue with that. In the end, it is truly a game of speculation and I am by no means Norstadamus or even Eklund for that matter! ;)

    I simply wanted to highlight some prospects who may be in play leading up to the deadline. Usually, the specualtion takes place on the NHL players who may be on the move. I wanted to look at it from the prospect perspective.

    Thanks for the detailed analytical comment.

  6. In most cases here I feel like the level of interest in these prospects would not net great return. Schroeder is a guy I have always liked but I doubt teams are beating down the door to get him. Vancouver is pretty thin in general, I really don’t see them making any significant moves given their cap situation, existing depth and lack of overall organizational depth.

    Kuznetsov seems like a fair bet if the right deal comes along, Bennett is in the same boat but I’m not sure what kind of return those guys would fetch either. They are too good to move for rentals but not good enough to net the big chips.

    I think the Rangers will be buyers but they are absolutely in love with McIlrath. They identified him early and they reached to get him, I’d be stunned if they moved him.

    San Jose is probably done dealing. They are starting to click and they’ve added some depth, plus they are out of cap space basically.

    Tampa might make another move, they have a number of guys who might draw interest, I don’t see them moving Ashton but there’s a slim chance.

    Schenn is the big question mark, I don’t think he moves unless a HUGE name is available with a manageable contract. These are not the type of guys who get moved at the deadline generally. Schenn will be ready to play next year as the Kings No. 2 center and their team is not in a position to go all in for the Cup this year. They may or may not be good enough to do that and there is certainly no urgency with their core being rather young and most of their veterans being under contract next year.

  7. Appreciate the comments, but if you are going to comment please read the introduction and the comments when discussing each player. These are players that “may” be in play. In no way did I infer that all these prospects will be moved.

    Brayden Schenn: case in point. Would it surprise myself or anyone if he was not moved? Not in the least. If it means landing an already established high end forward, however, Lombardi may strongly consider, depending on who that player is.

    Many a writer and fan have talked about the Kings over the past few years and stat “this is the year” when they take a leap to the next level. At some point potential has to be realized. Luckily the Kings have an abundance of assets that can be dealt instead of Schenn, and that may very well be the case.

    However, no player is untouchable – including Schenn. Should he be traded? I’d venture to say “no”. The bar has been already set pretty high with the trades made thus far and to get a special player at the deadline a tall price may have to be paid.

    Of course, some of the best moves are the trades you never make.

  8. Passemoi LaPuck says:

    I stopped reading at the point where you lost all credibility. Right around the point where Schenn’s name appears on your list. I have assumed that the rest of the article would be just a series of unfounded guesses.

  9. THE KINGS ARE NOT TRADING BRAYDEN SCHENN

    When will all you xxxxxx hockey writers get this through your heads??

    Los Angeles is building for the longterm and Schenn is a huge part of their future. There is no need for a team as deep in prospects as they are– while still very good in the present– to make a big move hoping to go far this season. The future is so bright in Los Angeles that this year is very much training for next year; if they make a deep run, all the better, but it’s hardly being demanded by Kings fans that they win now at all costs at the expense of the future. Only stupid “journalists” who want something to write about are demanding that.

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