Last month (Oct. 27), NHL insider Pierre LeBrun reported that the San Jose Sharks were willing to listen to offers for just about every player on their roster not named Tomas Hertl. With the Detroit Red Wings being on the rise and aiming to maintain their spot in the playoff race, it would be wise for general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman to take a look at some of their players. The Sharks certainly have some intriguing trade targets worth considering, but there are three who stand out. Here’s why.
The Sharks have no player with more trade value than Timo Meier. After recording a 76-point campaign in 77 games last season, he currently has six goals and 12 points in his first 15 games this year. Needless to say, when he’s playing at his best, the 6-foot-1 winger is capable of producing at nearly a point-per-game pace and being a star. Adding that kind of offense to the Red Wings’ roster could be enough for them to make the jump to becoming a legitimate playoff team, so why shouldn’t they make a run for him?
When looking at a potential fit for him in Detroit’s lineup, I envision that he would work beautifully with Dylan Larkin on the first line. However, if head coach Derek Lalonde wanted to spread out the team’s offense, Meier would fit quite well with Andrew Copp on the second line. Either way, he would provide the Red Wings with a much-needed jolt and make their forward group far more dangerous. Furthermore, he would be an amazing addition to their power play, and that’s an area where they need to improve. At this juncture, they have a powerplay percentage of 16.98 percent, which is the sixth-worst in the NHL.
Although the idea of acquiring Meier is an exciting one, it would cost the Red Wings a lot to get him. The 2015 ninth-overall pick is a pending restricted free agent (RFA), so he will remain under team control this offseason, and that only heightens his value. Perhaps a first-round pick (top-10 protected), William Wallinder, and Adam Erne could be enough to get this deal done.
Mario Ferraro may not be as flashy as Meier, but there’s no denying that he has become a very solid NHL player. The 24-year-old has developed into a legitimate top-four defenseman and would be another notable addition if acquired by Detroit. In 15 games this season for the Sharks so far, he has four assists, which is not necessarily jaw-dropping. However, it’s important to note that he isn’t known for his offensive ability, but rather for his stellar defensive play and physicality.
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Ferraro would work nicely in the Red Wings’ top four, but I could see him fitting best with offensive defenseman Filip Hronek on the second pairing. Due to his steady and reliable defensive work, Hronek could take more chances, which in turn, could lead to more offense for the Red Wings. With that, he would provide the Red Wings with a serious boost to their penalty kill, as he would immediately fit on their top unit because of his excellent shutdown ability.
Ferraro would be more than just a rental, too, as he carries a $3.25 million cap hit until the end of the 2025-26 season. Therefore, he could be a long-term part of the Red Wings’ core as they continue to rise from their rebuild. To acquire him, they would likely need to part ways with a second-round pick, a notable prospect, and an NHL-caliber defenseman like Jake Walman. That isn’t a cheap price, but it would be worth it if Ferraro continues to improve his strong play.
If the Red Wings are still in the playoff hunt as we get closer to the trade deadline, it would be wise for them to look to add a depth forward. This is especially true when noting that several of their forwards are currently out, including Filip Zadina and Matt Luff long term. As a result, one player who could make sense for them from the Sharks is pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) Matt Nieto.
Nieto has bounced around the lineup this season for the Sharks, which is the norm for a depth forward like himself. In 15 games thus far, he has a goal to go along with four points. Yes, he is not the most dominant player offensively, but he can still provide decent secondary scoring while hot. For example, he recorded a 17-point campaign in 70 games last season for the Sharks and has five seasons where he had at least 20 points. He also can kill penalties if needed, so at the end of the day, I see nothing wrong with adding him to their depth.
Nieto carries a low $850,000 cap hit, so the Red Wings would be able to afford him without any issues. With that, it would not take much to get him, as a sixth-round pick would likely get the job done.
Nevertheless, the Red Wings have some rather interesting trade targets worth considering from the Sharks. Meier would be the biggest splash out of the trio, but Ferraro and Nieto also have the potential to be solid additions for them. Either way, we will have to wait and see if these two clubs end up striking a deal before the deadline passes.