NHL Trade Deadline: Our Top 10 Must-Watch List

With now under six weeks until the Feb. 25 NHL Trade Deadline, we’re taking a second look at the Top 10 trade options potentially available in this year’s marketplace. News over the past seven days has changed the outlook of the list quite a bit with a new player topping the list who wasn’t even on it last week.

Related – NHL Trade Deadline: Our Top 10 Must-Watch List (Week One)

As was explained when the first list was put together, we expect, from week to week, the names will change and so, as we go, we’ll name the player, then update you on what’s happening in respect to their status on the trade board:

1. Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets:

Bobrovsky’s teammate was at the top of the list last week but this week, the biggest news in the NHL was the blowup that took place between Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets organization. While the reported news is that both sides have moved on and put the ‘incident’ behind them, the real buzz is that it was the final straw for the star goaltender who would happily waive his no-trade clause to go elsewhere. At the very least, it looks like this will be his last season with the team.

Sergei Bobrovsky Blue Jackets
Sergei Bobrovsky should hear his name again as a star of the week. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The chatter that the team will hang onto Bobrovsky for their playoff run is now less than the chatter that he’ll be moved. If he’s unhappy and the team can get another goaltender on the market before their run, perhaps they can move Bobrovsky, get another goaltender from elsewhere and not lose one of the hottest free agents for nothing.

Related: Are Maple Leaf Fans Giving Nylander a Fair Shake?

2. Gustav Nyquist, Detroit Red Wings:

Nyquist was a candidate for last week’s list because of where the Red Wings are at and because Nyquist will have some value around the league in trade. That said, there wasn’t much talk about him, so he wasn’t added. This week, things have heated up a touch.

Gustav Nyquist Red Wings
Gustav Nyquist, Detroit Red Wings, December 20, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Potential landing spots for Nyquist include the Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks, Edmonton Oilers, Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild, and Anaheim Ducks if they can turn things around and put themselves in a playoff position.

He’s a proven forward who teams know can help and as such, he’ll attract a good return for the Red Wings who are going to move out short-term pieces for longer-term gains.

Related – NHL Rumors: Silfverberg, Zuccarello, Oilers Update, More

3. Jakob Silfverberg, Anaheim Ducks:

With how badly the Ducks have played recently and with the recent departure of Andrew Cogliano, there are more murmurs coming out of Anaheim that trades are coming. High on the list is Jakob Silfverberg who is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.

The talk is that the Ducks are trying to re-sign him before they really look at what a return might include but that the two sides aren’t close. He’s a good bet to be traded, especially if the team continues to struggle.

Related – NHL Rumors: Hamilton, Duchene, Eberle, Lucic, More

4. Micheal Ferland, Carolina Hurricanes

Dougie Hamilton was the talk of last week coming out of Carolina. This week, that chatter belongs to power forward Micheal Ferland.

Micheal Ferland Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina Hurricanes left wing Micheal Ferland (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

I wrote earlier today in my rumor rundown report:

“When asked who he thinks is more likely to be traded out of Carolina, Friedman said, “I think Ferland is more likely to get dealt… Ferland, that fight he had on the weekend with Austin Watson, that did not go unnoticed. There’s not a lot of fighting in the playoffs, but it is tough, tough hockey. You guys know how it goes. You have to be willing to stand up to teams and stand up to people. It gets a bit more edgy, and Ferland has got that ability. … Pierre LeBrun believes the asking price for Ferland will be a first-round pick and a prospect.”

It appears the Hurricanes are being viewed as a team that is willing to move strong pieces for better long-term options. Ferland certainly fits into the category. If the Hurricanes can snag a first-rounder and a prospect, it seems like a no-brainer to make that move.

5. Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers:

Wayne Simmonds is a popular man these days. A power forward that has a lot to offer any team, he’s being linked to the Nashville Predators or Winnipeg Jets, among others. The Flyers were interested in keeping him but the price tag he was asking for and term he wanted on a new contract might be too rich for the Flyers blood.

Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers
Wayne Simmonds has never shied away from the physical side of the game. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

With what is sure to be heavy demand for his services, the Flyers might be best served to get as much as they can, let teams outbid each other and rake in a large haul before Feb. 25. He is purely a rental at this point and will explore the best deal he can get in free agency over the summer.

Related – NHL Rumors: Simmonds and the Jets, Leafs Goaltending, More

6. Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues

The Blues have stayed hot as a team that might make some moves. Last week, the most likely of trade options was Patrick Maroon and while he’s still on the board, with the announcement that the Edmonton Oilers might be prepping to apply a “full-court press” to the trade market, Vladimir Tarasenko’s name has popped up.

The Oilers are rumored to be very interested in Tarasenko and other teams likely wouldn’t mind having a proven forward like him on their roster. The only issue is his age and contract. He’s got a number of years left at $7.5 million per season and that’s a big ticket item, one the Oilers will have trouble fitting into their cap.

Related – NHL Rumors: Bruins and Blues Talking, Oilers Shopping, More

7. Jake Muzzin, Los Angeles Kings

Jake Muzzin remains on our trade board this week, moving down one spot from the No. 6 spot he held last week. The Los Angeles Kings are in a position of strength as Muzzin is a wanted man by many teams, he’s got a good contract and the Kings may not need him to return if they can grab a strong defenseman in the NHL draft this summer.

Jake Muzzin, Los Angeles Kings
Jake Muzzin (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Kings are looking at acquiring top prospects and good draft options for the players they’re making available. Muzzin feels like the kind of player who will stay on our board until he’s actually moved.

8. Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers

Puljujarvi also stays on our list. He comes in near the bottom because he’s not a player the Oilers want to move but he’s being linked to whatever trade the Oilers might make in their desire to acquire a top-end forward. Puljujarvi is one of the few Oilers who might have value on the trade market and he’s got a reasonable contract on an entry-level deal.

9. Mats Zuccarello, New York Rangers:

Zuccarello moves up a spot on our list because he’s improved his play since publicly stating he was bothered by all the trade chatter. In a way, it seems to have loosened him up and he’s playing much better hockey. The downside of that is if he didn’t want to be traded, he’s hurt his chances of not being moved because teams have started to take notice again.

Related – Edler Trade Rumors: Why Don’t Teams Do This More Often?

10. Alex Elder, Vancouver Canucks:

Alex Edler has said he has no desire to leave Vancouver and it looks like the Canucks have a newfound desire to keep him in Vancouver long-term. So, while the chances are good that he re-signs, the whispers of a trade don’t seem to be going away.

Alex Edler - Vancouver Canucks
Alex Edler. Photo: Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers

Would the Canucks look at a rental type trade then revisit the idea of bringing Edler back in the summer? They’d stand a good chance he’d want to return, but all of that depends on how that conversation goes between the two sides and whether or not Edler winds up liking it better wherever he lands. He’s only played with the Canucks and there is a chance he could like wherever he goes just as much.