Power Rankings: The Trade Deadline Edition

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Joey Alfieri
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The NHL trade deadline is always an exciting time of year. Teams that have a chance to compete for a Stanley Cup or a playoff spot want to make their squads better, while teams eliminated from playoff contention try to recoup young assets or draft picks for their potential free agents.

Many moves were made before Monday, but there are still some quality options on the board.

Not every player on this list is going to find a new home before 3 p.m. ET today, but these are guys that could find themselves on new teams when it's all over.

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1 - Taylor Hall – F - Buffalo Sabres (UPDATE: Traded to Boston):

Hall took a chance by signing a one-year deal with the Sabres during the off-season, but things just haven’t worked out well. The 29-year-old has only two goals and 19 points in 37 games this season, which is low by his standards. The former M.V.P. still has high-end offensive ability and he would be a solid acquisition for any team.

2 - Alex Iafallo – F – Los Angeles Kings:

The Kings probably want to keep the 27-year-old around for a few more years, but they have to consider moving him because he’s going to be a UFA at the end of the season. He has 11 goals and 14 assists in 39 games this season (three of those goals have come on the power play). He’s averaging over 20 minutes of ice time per game. He would be a home run acquisition for a lot of teams.

3 - Mike Hoffman – F – St. Louis Blues:

Hoffman has a respectable 11 goals in 2021, but the Blues were clearly expecting more. The 31-year-old comes with some off-ice baggage from his days in Ottawa which might turn some teams off. Any team looking for help on the power play could do worse than landing the veteran winger.

4- Josh Manson – D – Anaheim Ducks:

A trade involving Manson is a little more complicated because he still has one year remaining on his contract at $4.1 million. He’s missed most of the 2021 season due to injury, but he’s played close to 20 minutes every night since he’s been back in the lineup. Many teams would like to acquire him, but being able to fit him under the cap might be challenging.

5 - David Krejci – F – Boston Bruins:

Even though he’s going to be a UFA at the end of the season, moving Krejci’s contract isn’t going to be easy. Unless the Bruins feel like they can’t make a run in the playoffs, there’s no real point to trading Krejci away. He’s always performed well in the playoffs, but he has just two goals in 34 games this season.

6 - Sam Bennett – F – Calgary Flames:

The Flames are having a disappointing year and Bennett just hasn’t played well enough either. The 24-year-old has four goals and eight assists in 38 games this season and he’s a minus-14 while averaging 13:28 of ice time. Bennett will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. There’s a good chance he’ll be moved in the off-season.

7 - Nick Foligno – F – Columbus Blue Jackets (UPDATE: Traded to Toronto):

The veteran forward will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and his offensive abilities have dropped off, but he’s still a valuable heart-and-soul kind of player. Every team can use a depth forward like Foligno on their roster. The 33-year-old is currently day-to-day with an upper-body injury. He has seven goals and nine assists in 42 games this season.

8 - Ryan Dzingel – F – Ottawa Senators:

The Sens got Dzingel from the Carolina Hurricanes earlier this season, but he could be on the move again. The 29-year-old has six goals and two assists in 16 games this season. Dzingel would be a solid depth scorer for any contender, but he has just three goals in 28 career playoff games.

9 - Tyson Jost – F – Colorado Avalanche:

This is an intriguing name that could pop up in a trade before 3 p.m. ET. Jost is still just 23 years old, but he hasn’t developed into the offensive force many expected him to be. A change of scenery in a city with a team that doesn’t have as much depth might be just what the doctor ordered for him. The former 10th overall pick in 2016 has three goals and six assists in 38 games this season. He’ll be a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

10 - Nikita Zadorov – D – Chicago Blackhawks:

Zadorov’s contract expires at the end of the season, but he isn’t a pure rental because he’s going to be a restricted free agent. The 25-year-old has one goal, six assists and 31 penalty minutes in 42 games this season. He’s also averaging a shade under 19 minutes of ice time per game. Anybody looking for a huge presence on the back end could do worse than Zadorov.

11 - Mikael Granlund – F – Nashville Predators:

There was talk that Nashville would move Mattias Ekholm, but it looks like they could keep him now that they’re on a positive run. If they do make a move before 3 p.m., it will likely be them adding a body or shipping a potential UFA like Granlund to a contender. The 29-year-old has 10 goals and seven assists in 38 games this season.

12 - Scott Laughton – F – Philadelphia Flyers:

The 26-year-old is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He’s the type of player that won’t necessarily contribute offensively, but he’s able to play a strong all-around game and he can kill penalties. He has seven goals and 17 points in 37 games this season, which isn’t terrible for a depth player.

13 - Nick Robertson – F – Toronto Maple Leafs (Update: Leafs traded first-rounder):

Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has already said that he’s willing to trade a high draft pick or a top prospect to acquire some immediate help. Robertson has played in one NHL game this season and he’s accumulated 10 points in 14 AHL games. If the Leafs are looking to improve their roster, they may have to use the 19-year-old as a trade chip.

14 - Jamie Oleksiak – D – Dallas Stars:

Oleksiak is a big body (6-foot-7, 255 pounds) that can move the puck a little bit too. He helped the Stars make a run to the Stanley Cup Final last year and he could be a nice depth acquisition for any contender. He has three goals and five assists in 39 games this season. He averages just over 20 minutes of ice time. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

15 - Ryan Murray – D – New Jersey Devils:

Murray has been a steady presence on the New Jersey defense this season. He has 10 assists in 31 games and he averages 17:47 of ice time per game. The Devils may want to keep the 27-year-old around beyond this season, but they could flip him before the deadline and bring him back in the off-season.

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16 - Tyler Johnson – F – Tampa Bay Lightning:

The Bolts won’t be able to shed Johnson’s salary, but he’s clearly the player they’d like to move right now. He has a cap hit of $6 million and he’s only produced 18 points in 40 games. Finding a taker for his services will be nearly impossible. Also, they’ve kept him for most of the season, they may as well hang on to him for their playoff run.

17 - Ian Cole – D – Minnesota Wild:

Cole has 89 games of Stanley Cup Playoff experience and he won two rings with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2017 and 2018. There’s no real reason for the team like the Wild to trade the pending UFA because they could use his experience once they reach the postseason. But if a legit contender makes an offer the Wild can’t refuse, they could allow Cole to move on.

18 - Brandon Sutter – F – Vancouver Canucks:

It’s going to be a little difficult to make a deal with the Canucks because of their current Covid-19 situation, but Sutter could be an option for a contender. He’s going to be a UFA at the end of the season and he brings some veteran experience down the middle. The 32-year-old has six goals and two assists in 35 games. Vancouver may have to eat some of his salary to make a deal work.

19 - Paul Byron – F – Montreal Canadiens:

Byron is still a useful player, but the Canadiens have put him on waivers multiple times this season. The veteran speedster has two years remaining on his contract at a cap hit of $3.4 million, which makes him tough to move. Don’t expect a Byron trade on Monday, especially because the Habs can’t really retain salary. GM Marc Bergevin added Jon Merrill on Sunday and he could make another move.

20 - Chris Driedger – G – Florida Panthers:

Driedger has been a pleasant surprise in 2021, as he’s posted a solid 11-5-2 record with a 2.05 goals-against-average and a .930 save percentage. When Sergei Bobrovsky was struggling early on, Driedger came up big for the Panthers between the pipes. The pending UFA will land in a better situation next season.

21 - Jonathan Bernier – G – Detroit Red Wings:

The Wings have already made a couple of moves before Monday, but Bernier has arguably been one of their best players this season. The 32-year-old has been dealing with a lower-body injury, but he made his return last week. He has a respectable 8-7-0 record with a 3.03 goals-against-average and a .910 save percentage on a bad Detroit team. He’d be a nice depth acquisition for a team looking for a solid backup netminder.

22 - Jake Gardiner – D – Carolina Hurricanes:

The Hurricanes would love to move on from Gardiner, but there’s too much money and term left on that contract. The 30-year-old has two years remaining at just over $4 million per season. He has seven assists in 18 games this season while averaging less than 16 minutes of ice time per game. The ‘Canes are going to have to eat a lot of salary if they’re going to move him.

23 - Derick Brassard – F – Arizona Coyotes:

Brassard only makes $1 million this season, so the Coyotes don’t have to trade him away. Arizona is within striking distance of a playoff spot, so they could make a small push to add a depth piece before 3 p.m. ET. Brassard has eight goals and eight assists in 41 games this season. A team looking to add a veteran could inquire about his services though.

24 - Tyler Ennis – F – Edmonton Oilers:

It looks like the Oilers are going to make the playoffs, so they probably won’t want to trade a body away. If they add a player via trade, they may want to shed a bit of salary by including Ennis in the transaction. The 31-year-old has only nine points in 28 games this season and he’s currently on the roster as an emergency recall. He’s a good taxi-squad player to have, which means another team could be interested in his services.

25 - Marcus Sorensen – F – San Jose Sharks:

The Sharks already shipped veteran goalie Devan Dubnyk to Colorado over the weekend, so the next candidate to be moved is Sorensen. The defensive-minded forward has one goal and four assists in 26 games this season. The 29-year-old would probably fetch the Sharks a middle to late-round pick.

26 - Leo Komarov – F – New York Islanders:

The Isles have already made a splash, as they acquired Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the New Jersey Devils last week. If they could shed a body before Monday, they would probably like for it to be Komarov. The 34-year-old has one year remaining on his contract after this season and it comes with a cap hit of $3 million. He has no goals and five assists in 24 games this season. It would be surprising to see any team acquire him.

27 - Jonas Siegenthaler – D – Washington Capitals (Update: Traded to New Jersey Devils):

Here’s the deal: The Capitals probably won’t be trading anyone else away after dealing Jonas Siegenthaler to the Devils on Sunday. The 23-year-old had no points in seven games this season. He spent most of the year as a healthy scratch and will likely get more of an opportunity to play on a regular basis on a thinner Devils blue line. The Caps are more likely to send a draft pick away in a trade on Monday.

28 - Tony DeAngelo – D – New York Rangers:

There are obviously many concerns with acquiring DeAngelo, but a team desperate enough to add some offense to the back end may try to land him. The 25-year-old is coming off a 53-point season in 2019-20, so teams know that he can produce on the ice. The issue is whether or not you believe he can walk a straight line and not ruffle any feathers in the locker room.

29 - Winnipeg Jets - Draft Picks:

The Jets probably won’t shed a roster player, but they own their first, second and third-round draft picks. It’s no secret that Winnipeg would probably like to bolster their defense, especially after Nathan Beaulieu was ruled out for the rest of the season.

30 - Vegas Golden Knights – Draft Picks:

The Golden Knights have their first-rounder and two picks in the second round, which they could use to improve their roster. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have much cap space to make a deal work. Vegas are legit Stanley Cup contenders.

31 - Pittsburgh Penguins – Draft Picks (Update: Traded picks to get Jeff Carter):

As long as Sidney Crosby is still playing at a high level, the Penguins will continue to push for the Stanley Cup. Adding some more scoring will likely be the goal for the Pens, but it’ll be interesting to see who Ron Hextall and Brian Burke attempt to land.