With the NHL trade deadline looming, we want to take the time to look at the top 30 players that might find new homes. Players are always on the move even before the deadline so this article may not be accurate even as its published. The NHL is a ever changing landscape and the powerhouses will be looking to pick of pieces to load up for the long haul. This obviously is an opinion based piece but am always open to critism and dialogue. Let’s have some fun with this!

1. Noah Hanifin (D) – Calgary Flames

Age: 27
Contract: UFA; 1 Year Remaining @ 4,950,000; Modified No Trade (8 Teams)
GP55 G9 A21 P30 +/- 10 PIM 22 TOI 23:44

Noah Hanifin fills the number one spot on our NHL trade targets list. A big reason is due to his desire to play in the states long term. In the short term though he could end up on another Canadian team. Top targets in Canada are Toronto, Winnipeg and potentially Vancouver. The Canucks are more interested in number two on this list in Chris Tanev. Obviously you have to look at teams to the south of Canada, as they have a higher chance of signing him long term. You always know that the Bruins will be lurking around, never count out the Lightning to make a big splash as well.

There has been rumors that Calgary has offered an 8 year, 60 million dollar contract. Why he hasn’t signed is an obvious one with the direction of the Flames and his wanting to sign long term in the US. The Flames would have to do what the Jets did with Scheifele and Hellebuyck, convince him of the direction of the team.

2. Chris Tanev (D) – Calgary Flames

Age: 34
Contract: UFA; 1 Year Remaining @ 4,500,000
GP52 G1 A11 P12 +/- 10 PIM 10 TOI 19:46

Tanev is arguably the hardest working defenseman on this list. He would bring a lot of grit and determination to any team that acquires him. Tanev is a lock to be moved with the top suitors being Toronto, Vancouver, and Dallas. Obviously the Canucks would love to add him as they are familiar with his body of work. as he played for the team in the past. The Flames don’t have a need for keeping Tanev, as he is the older of the two defenseman on this list.

Hockey Reference | Capfriendly

3. Adam Henrique (F) – Anaheim Ducks

Age: 34
Contract: UFA; 1 Year Remaining @ 5,825,000; Modified No Trade (10 Teams)
GP53 G15 A20 P35 +/- -2 PIM 31 TOI 17:21

The Ducks will want to move Henrique before the deadline. They are not making the playoffs this year and are obviously looking to continue the rebuild and actually start moving up sooner rather than later. Acquiring some assets in exchange for Henrique would help with that. His ten trade no trade clause may hamper a move a little, but not enough that he won’t be moved. With two Canadian teams already making a move for a center man, you can all but certainly rule them out. Look towards the likes of Colorado and New York to inquire on him.

4. Jake Allen (G) – Montreal Canadiens

Age: 33
Contract: UFA; 2 Years Remaining @ 3,850,000
GP19 W5 L11 OTL3 SH 0 MIN 1098 GAA 3.66 SV% .894

Allen is the first goalie to appear on the list as the Canadiens are not in the hunt. Not only that but they currently have three goalies. Montembeault and Primeau are the present and future to the Habs goaltending. Allen is the past, along with Carey Price, as they were the duo that took them to the Finals in 2021. Jake Allen will be highly sought after as he has always had consistently good numbers. Obviously numbers this year are down but he is on the Montreal Canadiens.

5. Tyson Barrie (D) – Nashville Predators

Age: 32
Contract: UFA; 1 Year Remaining @ 4,500,000
GP35 G1 A11 P12 +/- -10 PIM 14 TOI 18:26

Barrie has been a player that consistently puts up good offensive numbers while being solid enough defensively. Don’t get me wrong though, he is not a defensive minded defenseman. He thinks about how he can create offence from the backend which would be a huge asset for any team. At a reasonable cap hit and being a UFA, he would be a great pickup at the deadline. Teams that should be interested are Winnipeg, Boston, and Dallas. Teams that could use a serviceable second or third paring d-man with an offensive up side. He should be affordable to acquire as well as he has requested a trade already and the Predators are a fringe team at best this year.

6. Jacob Markstrom (G) – Calgary Flames

Age: 34
Contract: UFA; 3 Years @ 6,000,000; No Move Clause
GP34 W17 L15 OTL2 SH 2 MIN 1995 GAA 2.59 SV% .913

Jacob Markstrom is an interesting name to make this list. The Flames season has gone off the rails a little bit but they are still fighting for a playoff spot. Obviously trading Markstrom would most likely be the Flames waving the white flag on this season. He has term left on his deal and his cap hit is rather affordable considering how he has played behind a struggling Flames team. Markstom would be a welcome to addition to any team looking for goaltending but there would be a commitment as well. The teams that may have interest would be the Devils and Kings. There are not many teams that are looking for a goalie with term. Most will be looking for a rental, as to quote Frank Seravalli “Goaltending is voodoo”.

7. Brandon Duhaime (F) – Minnesota Wild

Age: 26
Contract: UFA; 1 Year @ 1,100,000
GP54 G4 A2 P6 +/- -7 PIM 57 TOI 10:20

The Minnesota Wild are having a horrible season. They were projected to make the playoffs and contend for a cup. Unfortunately, they are sat three points out and have had struggled to play consistently. Due to that, they may sell of some pieces. Not all as they will want to compete next year. Not all is Brandon Duhaime. He is on an expiring contract and is just a nasty player. He would be the type of player that wins you a championship. Not by scoring but by being the hardest player on the ice. Every team needs one and Duhaime can be acquired for that reason and for an affordable price. He only makes 1.1 million for this year and would easily be able to fit under the cap.

8. Sean Walker (D) – Philadelphia Flyers

Age: 29
Contract: UFA; 1 Year @ 2,650,000
GP56 G5 A15 P20 +/- 10 PIM 30 TOI 19:27

Sean Walker may have revived his career in Philadelphia. This off-season, he was a cap dump by the LA Kings. This season he had not only put up 20 points through 56 games but has been a force on the back end. Tough, solid, stable blueliner for the surprising Flyers team. Just like a few other pieces everyone has been saying the Flyers will be moving, Walker may not find a new home this trade deadline. The Flyers are a great team. Do they have a chance at a cup this year? No? Maybe? From the past years seemingly random teams to show up in Stanley Cup Finals (Montreal Canadiens, Florida Panthers), anything is possible if you get in. Walker may be a piece the Flyers want to keep for a run in the playoffs.

9. Kevin Hayes (F) – St. Louis Blues

Age: 31
Contract: UFA; 3 Years Remaining @ 3,571,429 (50% Retained by PHI); Modified No Trade (12 Teams)
GP53 G10 A12 P22 +/- -5 PIM 8 TOI 14:43

Kevin Hayes is a prime candidate for a team to acquire. The Blues may end up making the playoffs in the end, but this would not be the first time Doug Armstrong has sold off and still made a run to the playoffs. Players like Stastny was acquired by the Jets and the Blues only missed by 1 point. The Blues season has been very inconsistent so it is unclear if they will be sellers and or buyers at the deadline. St. Louis is not going to be pressured to move Hayes as well as he has three years reaming on his contract and has had a solid season so far.

10. Marc-Andre Fleury (G) – Minnesota Wild

Age: 39
Contract: UFA; 1 Year Remaining @ 3,500,000
GP25 W10 L9 OTL3 SH 1 MIN 1401 GAA 2.83 SV% .902

Marc-Andre Fleury is a legend and is still elite. His numbers are decent, as the Wild have had been struggling but it has not been all because of the goaltending. Fleury will be a hot commodity around the league. Obvious suitors are Colorado, Edmonton, and Los Angeles. This is just based on who needs a goaltender. Colorado is number one as Georgiev has been over worked and the addition of Fleury would help immensely. The decision will boil down to if Fleury wants to leave, he has earned that right.

11. Nic Dowd (F) – Washington Capitals

Age: 33
Contract: UFA; 2 Years @ 1,300,000
GP44 G8 A8 P16 +/- 8 PIM 30 TOI 15:40

The Washington Capitals may have to sell off pieces at the deadline. It is unfortunate, as you want to see the Capitals competitive, hockey is better with Ovechkin in the playoffs. A player that might be in the playoffs this year is Nic Dowd. He has had a good season and contributes a gritty tenacious playing style. A player that every Stanley Cup winner has had. He will garner a lot of attention and bring in a good return, as he has two years left with an insanely affordable cap hit. Look for teams that want to add top their fourth line and add a little bit of speed a grit. He is a hard player to play against.

12. Pavel Buchnevich (F) – St. Louis Blues

Age: 28
Contract: UFA; 2 Years @ 5,800,000
GP52 G18 A24 P42 +/- 9 PIM 40 TOI 19:53

The Blues again may not even sell off pieces. Buchnevich may be though. He is having the type of year that would normally help a team make the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Blues are not guaranteed to make the playoffs. His value has never been higher so now would be a good time to move him, and start a retool on the fly. The Blues are not good enough to compete for the Cup this year and probably not next year. Buchnevich is making 5.8 million for the next two years, but is more than living up to that amount. St. Louis will not want to retain this year and next so that will rule out a lot of teams that can not acquire him, and may make it harder to move him.

13. Jakub Chychrun (D) – Ottawa Senators

Age: 25
Contract: UFA; 2 Years @ 4,600,000
GP51 G9 A21 P30 +/- -13 PIM 40 TOI 22:41

Jakub Chychrun’s name sounds familiar. I can not put my finger on it, it is like he was rumored to be moved for two years straight and was moved last year. Oh wait that is right, he was. Chychrun has been rumored to move again because the Senators are not good…. again. They have struggled all year and don’t look like they will be turning it around this season. The Senators have had some shake up in the front office and behind the bench and Chychrun moving may help reboot the team. They want to compete now, and with the cap hit he is the perfect candidate to move. They may keep him though as he might be more valuable to them.

14. Logan Stanley (D) – Winnipeg Jets

Age: 25
Contract: RFA; 1 Year @ 1,000,000
GP10 G0 A1 P1 +/- 0 PIM 8 TOI 13:04

Logan Stanley is the definition of towering defenseman. Standing at 6’7″, the guy is a beast. The problem is he hasn’t gotten the opportunity to flourish in Winnipeg. Stanley has been given the ball to run with at times and doesn’t show his full potential at times. He may want a new team as he has talent, he just needs the time to learn in the NHL. Something the Jets may not be able to give him.

15. Jake Guentzel (F) – Pittsburgh Penguins

Age: 29
Contract: UFA; 1 Year Remaining @ 6,000,000; Modified No Trade (12 Teams)
GP50 G22 A30 P52 +/- 9 PIM 14 TOI 20:53

The Penguins are an odd case. They are fighting for a playoff spot but they are barely competitive. Guentzel will be the obvious one to move if they were to move pieces out. The other pieces may be the likes of Reilly Smith and Evgeni Malkin, but Guentzel will get by far the biggest return. When it comes to moving Guentzel, Dubas needs to be careful. Guentzel, despite the injury, should bring in a haul. If Dubas plays his card right he may be able to use the return to retool on the fly while they have Crosby, Malkin, and Letang under contract.

16. Brett Kulak (D) – Edmonton Oilers

Age: 30
Contract: UFA; 3 Years @ 2,750,000
GP51 G2 A5 P7 +/- 3 PIM 22 TOI 14:50

The Oilers just need cap space. They want to add depth up front and on the blueline but to do that you need space. Kulak is only making just shy of 3 million so it wouldn’t create a lot of space, but more than they had before. While Kulak is a good defender, the Oilers need to add more depth. Kulak would bring in good assets to flip or they could easily convince a team to take him on for the next three years. He is an NHL defenseman but he makes list out of need for cap space for the Oilers.

17. Vladimir Tarasenko (F) – Ottawa Senators

Age: 32
Contract: UFA; 1 Year @ 5,000,000
GP49 G14 A22 P36 +/- 13 PIM 12 TOI 15:51

The Tarasenko experiment has worked in Ottawa. Honestly, Tarasenko has been good for the Senators this year. Having 34 points through 46 games is nothing small. Tarasenko was supposed to be a great supporting cast to the young superstars that Ottawa has, he did his job. Any team looking for a scoring threat on the third line of a deep team. He would also be able to move up the lineup when needed as he definitely has the talent. He should be decently affordable to acquire as his cap hit is 5 million for the year. If someone can get the Senators to retain, that is one affordable threat.

18. Anthony Duclair (F) – San Jose Sharks

Age: 28
Contract: UFA; 1 Year @ 3,000,000
GP49 G11 A8 P19 +/- -11 PIM 28 TOI 15:48

Why can’t Duclair find a permanent home? It is a question that I ask myself every time I see his name on the move. Seven teams in his twelve year career. He had some elongated stays in Arizona and Florida but never more than three years. Which begs the question, why is he always on the move. He is a speedy, skilled forward that has been running at .6 points per game. That is 50 points in a season through a full 82. That is good! So at three million dollars on an expiring contract, this is a player that can find a spot on any contending team. No one says no to speed and skill in the NHL.

19. Anthony Mantha (F) – Washington Capitals

Age: 29
Contract: UFA; 1 Year @ 5,700,000
GP49 G17 A11 P28 +/- 6 PIM 10 TOI 13:48

The Washington Capitals looked hopefully earlier in the year but they have really slid to where everyone thought they would be. That will more than likely make Anthony Mantha an interesting piece for teams to look at. After last season, he seemed like a bit of an overinflated contract and prime for a cap dump somewhere else. He has looked really good this season on a struggling Capitals team. With his size and strength, he would be a force on anyone’s second or third line.

20. Trevor Zegras (F) – Anaheim Ducks

Age: 22
Contract: RFA; 3 Years @ 5,750,000
GP20 G4 A3 P7 +/- -5 PIM 24 TOI 17:20

Trevor Zegras has been rumored to be moved since Jamie Drysdale was moved to Philly. He has struggled mightily this year, minus his Michigan goal. Zegras would not be a short term rental as he has two more years after this one on his contract. Not only that but he is 22 and has shown he has potential to be a solid 50 to 60 point guy every season. Now at just shy of six million a year, is he worth the gamble? I would look to a team like the Canadiens, Blue Jackets, Sabres, or Blackhawks to make a move like this. They would be able to make it work financially and could surround him with young talent. Obviously with his injury this might end up being a summer move, but he will return this season and a team could take a chance on him for this year.

21. Jack Roslovic (F) – Columbus Blue Jackets

Age: 27
Contract: UFA; 1 Year @ 4,000,000
GP30 G3 A9 P12 +/- -13 PIM 12 TOI 15:39

Hometown player Jack Roslovic may be on the way out of his hometown. Roslovic has not performed well in his time in Columbus. When they acquired him they had hoped to form him into their next first line center. He has the skill to do that just can never seem to put the pieces together. He has put up 134 points in 235 games in Columbus. Not too bad for a guy that has played on the top line of a team that with all honesty lacked talent at times. You should look for a contender to be interested him as he is on an affordable AAV and could play up and down the lineup. Roslovic can play the wing and center which would be a huge asset for any team. It would come with risk though

22. Juuso Valimaki (D) – Arizona Coyotes

Contract: RFA; 1 Year @ 1,000,000
GP39 G2 A8 P10 +/- -2 PIM 6 TOI 18:37

Juuso Valimaki was claimed by the Coyotes in 2022 and has been with the big club ever since. Why the Flames waived him is still a mystery as he has grown into a serviceable NHL defenseman. Valimaki has a lot of value right now as he could serve as a solid third pairing on a deal that seems like larceny. Not only that but he is an RFA at the end of the season so he can be flipped in the off season if the fit is not right. When teams are looking to acquire him, they should not have a hard time picking him up, as the Coyotes have recently fallen apart and are more than likely looking to sell off some valuable pieces for next year.

23. Colton Parayko (D) – St. Louis Blues

Age: 30
Contract: UFA; 7 Years @ 6,500,000
GP54 G9 A11 P20 +/- 10 PIM 16 TOI 23:51

If a team feels like risking a lot to acquire a good defenseman, at a not so team friendly number, for an amount of time that is not fun, Colton Parayko is your guy. Parayko makes this list though as he is the defenseman on the Blues that has the most value. He is 30 but still has some good years left in him. The cost to acquire him though may be too high for anyone’s liking. The Blues, for obvious reasons, are not in a rush to move him before the deadline. This may be a deal more for the off season though as this will have a lot of moving parts. Teams like Toronto, Winnipeg and Boston should have interest in him. All those teams like to have players locked in with term but the length of term may just scare away everyone in the end.

24. Adam Boqvist (D) – Columbus Blue Jackets

Age: 23
Contract: RFA; 2 Years @ 2,600,000
GP23 G0 A7 P7 +/- -5 PIM 0 TOI 18:50

The Columbus Blue Jackets look to potentially be busy at the deadline. Boqvist was the piece they picked up in the Seth Jones trade. He was a highly touted prospect when they acquired him and he has performed well. He unfortunately is just the odd man out. Him or/and Andrew Peeke will be moved at the deadline to make room for David Jiricek. In team control for the next three years at least, Boqvist is an interesting piece for a team to pick up. If a team were to get him, he may just be their third pairing d-man but maybe even a seventh defenseman. Look to see a team make a play for him though as in the playoffs you always need defenseman.

25. Andrew Peeke (D) – Columbus Blue Jackets

Age: 25
Contract: UFA; 3 Years @ 2,750,000
GP20 G0 A6 P6 +/- -4 PIM 6 TOI 15:40

Andrew Peeke is currently the seventh defenseman on the Columbus Blue Jackets. The reason he is on this list is because every team will need more defensive depth. On a deep team, Peeke might be the eighth defenseman. He may just end up being a player that moves to make space on the roster for younger players to fill his role. At that salary as well as the term left, a team that is at the bottom of the standings may take him on. A contending team may bring him on as a depth piece but the term is what will complicate the move.

26. Jordan Eberle (F) – Seattle Kraken

Age: 33
Contract: UFA; 1 Year @ 5,500,000; Modified No Trade (16 Teams)
GP50 G10 A20 P30 +/- 4 PIM 9 TOI 17:08

Jordan Eberle might not be available. The Seattle Kraken might make the playoffs and Eberle is a large part of the team. Let’s say if he was available, he would be a great addition to a contending team. The obvious offensive ability along with his veteran leadership adds something not a lot of players have. The thing he is missing a championship ring, that may change this year if he is moved. It may change if he stays on the Kraken as well but not likely. The teams that would and should be interested are the Oilers, Rangers, and Avalanche. His salary may be a problem, but him being a UFA will help as the Kraken will be more willing to retain.

27. Matt Dumba (D) – Arizona Coyotes

Age: 29
Contract: UFA; 1 Year @ 3,900,000
GP49 G3 A3 P5 +/- -13 PIM 49 TOI 20:05

The Arizona Coyotes have had quite the roller coaster season. Dumba has not had the best offensive season so far but he has been playing solid minutes for the Coyotes. Playing 20 minutes a night is no small thing. He is a minute muncher and a solid defender. He would fit well on any third pairing of a contending team and be a serviceable replacement on the second pair. Dumba is not the best defenseman available but he is a good option for a team looking for depth.

28. Kevin Labanc (F) – San Jose Sharks

Age: 28
Contract: UFA; 1 Year @ 4,725,000
GP33 G2 A5 P7 +/- -17 PIM 8 TOI 11:47

The San Jose Sharks have a lot of players on this list as you might have noticed. The reason being, other than the obvious, is that a lot of their players are in the final years of their contracts or are just a ready for a fresh start else where. Kevin Labanc seems to be one of those players. When healthy, Labanc can be an asset for any team. To me, Labanc is a player that may not even end up on a contending team. Seems to me he could be on the move to a team on the fringe that want to just do a test run with him to see if he can get back to form when not in a Sharks uniform. Problem is that the Sharks are retaining a lot of money right now so it would most likely have to be a teams that would be able to fit his full salary for the rest of the year.

29. Mackenzie Blackwood (G) – San Jose Sharks

Age: 27
Contract: UFA; 2 Years @ 2,350,000
GP33 W9 L17 OTL3 SH 1 MIN 1822 GAA 3.49 SV% .899

Mackenzie Blackwood has been way better than his stats say he has. Countless nights he has been the sole reason the Sharks are not getting blown out. Sure there are nights that they get blown out, let’s be real here the Sharks are not competing for a Cup. His advance stats are decent considering the team he plays on. Last year he struggled on the Devils, hence the trade to the Sharks in the off-season. Obviously he would not be a starter on a contending team but he would make a lot of teams sleep better knowing Blackwood is their backup. He has value for sure.

30. Kaapo Kakko (F) – New York Rangers

Age: 22
Contract: RFA; 1 Year @ 2,100,000
GP33 G6 A3 P9 +/- 6 PIM 6 TOI 13:18

Kakko has been a very disappointing prospect for the Rangers. It is unfair to say that he is underperforming his draft selection because, that is not his fault. The team chose him where they did. Does that excuse how he his played, no. The former first round pick may be in need of a fresh start outside of the Big Apple. Not everyone performs to their full ability on Broadway, doesn’t mean they can’t be stars elsewhere. He is young enough that a lot of teams should be interested to take a flyer on him and try to help him turn into the player everyone wishes he was. Look for him to be involved in any trade involving the New York Rangers as he still has value on the market.