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The top 20 pieces of trade bait on the NHL market

Tim Tucker   ·   22 janvier 2020
With the NHL trade deadline less than five weeks away, you can bet GMs around the league are busy on the phones attempting to either shore up their lineup for a deep playoff run or adding assets for the future. Some teams are still deciding whether they are buyers or sellers but time is running out to make a decision. With that in mind, TSN recently ranked the top 20 pieces of trade bait on the NHL market this season. We'll post the list at the end and take a closer look at the top five.

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While positions in a top 20 list are always debatable, the first person on this list is the consensus of the vast majority of analysts for the hottest potential pick up heading into the playoffs. That would be Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers. Kreider is in the final year of a deal worth $4.63 million per season and it seems a given he will end up with another team by the trade deadline. The 28-year-old has 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 points in 48 games this season. While never a star, Kreider has been extremely consistent throughout his NHL career and was recently named an NHL All-Star for the first time in his career, filling in for injured teammate Artemi Panarin. Kreider can definitely add an offensive threat and some grit to a team looking to make a playoff run. He will likely command the biggest asking price, rumoured to be a first round pick plus a prospect, and the Rangers will enjoy a bidding war for his services. Kreider was drafted by the Rangers in the first round in 2009. He can always return to the team on July 1st, if he so chooses.

Number two on the list, according to TSN, is L.A. defenceman Alec Martinez. Martinez still has one year left on his contract after this season, paying him $4 million per. However, with the Kings in the midst of a rebuild and Martinez being 32-years-old, it's likely to two parties will part ways for the right price. Unfortunately for the Kings, it hasn't exactly been a banner year for Martinez, with just one goal and six points in 32 games. However, he can still provide sound defense for a team hoping to reach the Stanley Cup Finals.



The number three spot on the trade bait list belongs to Ilya Kovalchuk of the Montreal Canadiens. If you follow hockey at all you're likely already well aware of his resurgence in Montreal in the eight games he's played for the team. Kovalchuk has four goals and four assists in that time span and looks very different from the player who had his contract with the L.A. Kings terminated in December. The issue for Montreal is the team has to decide whether they are buyers or sellers. Currently out of a playoff spot in the east, the situation looks bleak, but not impossible. Should the Habs decide to sell, Kovalchuk's signing at the league minimum could fetch a very nice return.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau of the Ottawa Senators comes in fourth. Pageau, who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, is on pace for his best year ever with 31 points, including 19 goals, in 46 games. Outside of Kovalchuk, he's also one of the cheaper players on this list, making $3.1 million this season. With Ottawa looking for assets for the future, Pageau is a great trade chip to have for the team.

Rounding out the top five is a goaltender that has been the subject of trade talks since around November. With Igor Shesterkin seemingly appointed the goalie of the future for the New York Rangers, there have been rumours swirling about Alexandar Georgiev. Georgiev has been very good this season while playing on a team that is far from it. In 23 games, he has a 12-10-1 record with a 3.11 goals against average and a save percentage .910. His name has been linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs several times but there are likely a few teams vying for his services. He can provide great goaltending depth for a Cup contender.

The rest of the top 20 can be viewed below.

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SURVEY
Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
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QUIZ ON TRADERUMOURS
image
How long does it take for the moon to circle the Earth?
ABOUT 1 DAY
ABOUT 1 MONTH
ABOUT 1 YEAR
ABOUT 10 DAYS
SURVEY
Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
IT'S BETTER TO CANCEL THE SEASON