The NHL Trade Deadline is just under two weeks away. It is set for March 21st at 3 pm est. The rumor mill is beginning to heat up across the league. Contending teams are starting to scour the market for players to improve their lineups. With multiple big names being floated, Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux has reportedly drawn interest from the Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, and the Florida Panthers. The Boston Bruins have looked into acquiring either Brock Boeser or Conor Garland from the Vancouver Canucks. This is with the intention that the franchise chooses to move on from winger Jake DeBrusk. Furthermore, the Montreal Canadiens will likely ship off more assets with the hope to recoup draft picks as they build for the future.
Make sure to check out our NHL Trade Deadline Previews.
Andrew Copp, Winnipeg Jets
The Jets are currently sitting in sixth place in the Central Division. They are eight points back of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Unlikely to make a push at the postseason, the franchise will likely get calls about their top players at the deadline. A versatile forward, Copp is having one of the best seasons of his pro career. The 27-year-old is fresh off career-highs in goals (15) and assists (24) in 2020. Following it up this year, he has racked up 32 points in 50 games while playing over 20 minutes per night. He is on schedule to hit unrestricted free agency at the end of the season. The two-way forward carries a respectable cap hit of just $3.8 million.
Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim Ducks
Slated to become a free agent in July, Anaheim is currently in a contract dispute with the defenseman. Reportedly unable to agree on the length of term on an extension, the franchise may have to part with the 28-year-old. A first-round pick of the team back in 2021, Lindholm has been rock solid once again in his ninth year with the franchise. The Sweeden native has amassed five goals and 15 assists in 56 contests. Along with this, he is playing over 22 minutes a night while averaging a 51.3 percent zone start percentage. Possessing the ability to sure up the blue line of any contending team, he can play in any situation and should command a hefty return on the market.
Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks have endured a disastrous 2021 season. They have been unable to get anything going all year long. The team chose to fire general manager Travis Green and head coach Bruce Boudreau early on in the year. However, after winning seven straight games under their new bench boss, the group has come back down to earth over the last few months. Currently sitting in seventh place in the Pacific Division, the franchise has started getting calls on winger J.T. Miller. However, if the front office cannot get a fair return for their star forward, Boeser could become another option for teams. A skilled young offensive player, the 25-year-old has eclipsed the 20 goal mark in four of his first six seasons in the league.
Artturi Lehkonen, Montreal Canadiens
A bright spot for the lonely Canadiens this season, Lehkonen has quietly had a strong year for the team. He is playing on the team’s third line alongside speedster Jake Evans and Rem Pitlick. The 26-year-old forward has already racked up 11 goals and 14 assists in 53 games. He is currently on pace to set new career highs in both categories. Along with this, he has amassed 29.4 expected goals for while averaging 1.9 per 60 minutes. A defensively responsible winger, the former second-round pick does everything well while maintaining the ability to be put on the ice in any situation. Expected to have no shortage of suitors should he hit the open market, the Frolunda product carries a cap hit of just $2.3 million.
Who is Most Likely to Move?
Taking a look at the list of players above, the name that remains the most likely to move is Copp. The Jets have begun to get calls on the former fourth-round pick. This is after falling further and further out of the playoff chase. The perfect compliment to any contending team, the former fourth-round pick can chip in offensively while playing a heavy game. Furthermore, look for Lindholm to be moved out by the Ducks after being unable to reach a long-term agreement. One of the top defensemen in a thin market for blueliners, it would be smart business by general manager Pat Verbeek to acquire assets for the pending unrestricted free agent.
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