Penguins’ 2022 Trade Targets on the Ottawa Senators

The Pittsburgh Penguins continued their winning ways over the weekend with an entertaining shootout victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The team is on another hot streak with five wins in a row and an 8-2-0 record in their last 10 games. The Penguins don’t have many holes on their roster. However, management will still be busy over the next two months doing their due diligence on potential acquisitions.

Don’t expect any blockbuster trades out of Pittsburgh, but there could be some shuffling before the Mar. 21 trade deadline. Management will be working the phones getting in touch with non-playoff teams as it becomes a seller’s market. Here are a few players from the Ottawa Senators who the Penguins should target.

Nick Paul

The 26-year-old winger is a big body at 6-foot-3 and plays a heavy game for the Senators. He has six goals and nine points in 34 games in 2021-22 and is perfectly suited for a third-line checking role. Paul can score goals from the dirty areas in front of the net, and this season, he’s become more versatile, filling in at center as Ottawa works their way through some injuries.

Nick Paul Connor Brown Canada
Nick Paul’s resume includes international experience for Team Canada (Photo by EyesWideOpen/Getty Images)

Paul would be a great addition for the Penguins because he would provide lineup flexibility; he would be an upgrade to Dominik Simon on the third line and would give the team a chance to move Jeff Carter to the wing if needed. He’s a pending free agent making $1.35 million against the salary cap. Pittsburgh could likely acquire the Sens forward for only a late-round draft pick, which would be a low-risk gamble that could pay off down the stretch and into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Anton Forsberg

The Swedish netminder is also a pending free agent and, like Paul, wouldn’t cost too much to acquire. Forsberg is making $900,000 against the salary cap and has appeared in 16 games this season. The 29-year-old has spent time with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Chicago Blackhawks, and Carolina Hurricanes before calling Ottawa home for the last two seasons.

Anton Forsberg Ottawa Senators
Anton Forsberg will be a trade target for many teams, including the Penguins (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

While Forsberg’s numbers don’t jump off the page, his 3.01 goals-against average and .912 save percentage are quite impressive considering the Senators’ lack of success this season – they have a 12-20-3 record. He’s another possibility who wouldn’t cost a ton to acquire, and the Penguins need to consider Ottawa’s goaltender over their current backup, Casey DeSmith. The struggles continue for DeSmith – he was pulled in his last start against the Blue Jackets – and Pittsburgh is likely eyeing the trade market for a replacement.

Related: Penguins’ 2022 Trade Targets on the Chicago Blackhawks

The Senators have an interesting option that management should keep an eye on. The Penguins don’t need someone to push Tristan Jarry for the starter’s crease, but they do need consistency when Jarry needs a night off. DeSmith has not been able to handle the job this season, and a move for Forsberg could be the answer.

Nick Holden

The Senators’ defenseman is not a household name; however, he’s a valuable piece of their team and should be on many teams’ radar before the deadline. Holden is another pending free agent, making $1.7 million against the salary cap. He’s also in his first season in Ottawa after spending the past three with the Vegas Golden Knights, where he played 35 postseason games.

Nick Holden Ottawa Senators
Nick Holden of the Ottawa Senators expected to be moved in the near future (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The 6-foot-4 blueliner would give the Penguins more depth on defense, and frankly, you can never have enough depth. With COVID absences and a persistent injury bug, adding proven NHL talent before late March will be essential for Pittsburgh’s playoff push. Holden isn’t shy to throw his body around, with 51 hits and 40 blocks through 29 games this season. The Pens aren’t an overly physical team, especially from their defense core, and Holden could help in that area.

The Senators are expected to sell many assets before the deadline, including the three mentioned above, who are the best options for the Penguins. The team doesn’t have much financial flexibility, and they want to hold on to their top prospects and high draft picks. Keep an eye on these two teams; they match up nicely for a trade this season. 

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