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Trade Coverage

As NHL Trade Deadline approaches, coveted assets come into focus

Pacioretty, Green, McDonagh among those on most-wanted list

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

The 2018 NHL Trade Deadline is fast approaching, which means the speculation has started, the rumors are flying, the lists of which scouts are at which games are being tweeted out by reporters, and the buyers and sellers are emerging.

Though the hockey world will likely have to wait to find out what's going to happen next for New York Islanders captain John Tavares, Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson and Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- all three of whom are unlikely to be traded before the deadline, which is Monday, 3 p.m. ET -- there are many players who could be changing teams soon.

Video: A look at trade candidates as the deadline approaches

Who knows, maybe Tavares, Karlsson and Ekman-Larsson could be on the move too. There are no guarantees around the deadline, not with offers being made and contenders pushing for the one player who they think can get them over the top.

Not including Tavares, Karlsson and Ekman-Larsson, here's a list of impact players (in alphabetical order by position) who could be traded or have been linked to trade speculation, including a list of three possible destinations that make sense:

 

FORWARDS

Alex Galchenyuk, LW/C, Montreal Canadiens

Galchenyuk, 24, scored 30 goals in 2015-16, but hasn't come close since. He's been moved around from center to wing and from the first line to the fourth line. He will likely benefit from a change of scenery, but the Canadiens don't have to rush to move him.

Status: Signed through the 2019-20 season
Biggest strength: Creativity
Playoff experience: 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 28 games
Three teams that make sense: Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild

Mike Hoffman, LW, Ottawa Senators

It's fair to wonder if it makes sense for the Senators to trade Hoffman, who is signed for two more seasons after this one. The 28-year-old could be part of a solution in Ottawa. However, if the return is right, Hoffman, who carries a $5.187 million cap charge, could be on the move.

Status: Signed through the 2019-20 season
Biggest strength: Shot
Playoff experience: 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 25 games
Three teams that make sense: St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Buffalo Sabres

 

Evander Kane, LW, Buffalo Sabres

Kane, 26, can be a dynamic scorer, although his production has waned in recent weeks. That might have something to do with believing he will be traded and waiting for it to happen. The Sabres reportedly want a package that includes a first-round pick in return.

Status: Can become UFA July 1
Biggest strength: Strength on the puck
Playoff experience: None
Three teams that make sense: Pittsburgh Penguins, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings

Video: BUF@BOS: Kane snaps wrister past Rask on breakaway

Patrick Maroon, LW, Edmonton Oilers

Maroon has added a scoring touch to his already physical game, complete with size (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) and snarl. It helps that he's been playing with center Connor McDavid, but his success with McDavid should also be a sign to other teams that Maroon, 29, can play with their skill players and be successful.

Status: Can become UFA July 1
Biggest strength: Physicality
Playoff experience: 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists) in 42 games
Three teams that make sense: Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars

 

Max Pacioretty, LW, Montreal Canadiens

Pacioretty, the captain of the Canadiens, might benefit from a change of scenery and a less pressure-filled role. The 29-year-old has scored at least 30 goals for the past four full seasons and in five of the past six. He had 15 in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.

Status: Signed through 2018-19 season
Biggest strength: Shot
Playoff experience: 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) in 38 games
Three teams that make sense: Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings

Video: CAR@MTL: Pacioretty redirects Petry's shot for PPG

 

Jean-Gabriel Pageau, C, Ottawa Senators

Pageau, 25, could be the third-line center who gives a contending team the depth it needs down the middle to compete for the Stanley Cup. He also might stay with the Senators for at least the next two seasons. He's in the first year of a three-year, $9.3 million contract.

Status: Signed through the 2019-20 season
Biggest strength: Playmaking
Playoff experience: 16 points (12 goals, four assists) in 35 games
Three teams that make sense: Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets, Vegas Golden Knights

 

Thomas Vanek, LW, Vancouver Canucks

Vanek has been traded twice before the deadline, in 2014 from the Islanders to the Canadiens and last season from the Detroit Red Wings to the Florida Panthers. It makes sense for him to be on the move again because the Canucks need to get younger and Vanek, 34, doesn't appear to fit into their plans.

Status: Can become UFA July 1
Biggest strength: Scoring
Playoff experience: 34 points (20 goals, 14 assists) in 63 games
Three teams that make sense: Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, San Jose Sharks

Video: VAN@DAL: Vanek wires home quick slapper from slot

 

Mats Zuccarello, RW, New York Rangers

Zuccarello is signed for one more season but he might not fit into the future plans of the Rangers because their intention is to go younger. He is 30. Zuccarello, though, can bring a scoring touch in a top-six role to any team.

Status: Signed through the 2018-19 season
Biggest strength: Playmaking
Playoff experience: 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) in 60 games; one Cup Final appearance
Three teams that make sense: Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators

 

DEFENSEMEN

Mike Green, D, Detroit Red Wings

Green, an all-star this season, is the most intriguing defenseman available because of his big righthanded shot and his ability to use it on the power play. The 32-year-old would fit best with a team that needs more offense from its back end, particularly from a righty.

Status: Can become UFA July 1
Biggest strength: Power-play contributions
Playoff experience: 37 points (10 goals, 27 assists) in 76 games
Three teams that make sense: Washington Capitals, Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks

Video: DET@NYI: Green ties it late on redirection

 

Jack Johnson, D, Columbus Blue Jackets

Johnson, 31, has asked to be traded. However, this isn't an easy situation for the Blue Jackets. Johnson is in a top-four role and averaging approximately 20 minutes of ice time per game. It would be easier if defenseman Ryan Murray were healthy, but he's been out since Nov. 28 with an upper-body injury.

Status: Can become UFA July 1
Biggest strength: Physicality
Playoff experience: 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) in 23 games
Three teams that make sense: Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings

Video: EDM@CBJ: Johnson nets sharp-angle goal

 

Ryan McDonagh, D, New York Rangers

McDonagh is a top-pair defenseman who can skate, move the puck, join the rush and play a strong two-way game. He's on the block because the Rangers have announced their plans to go younger. McDonagh, 28, is the player who can probably get them the best package of assets in return, especially since the team acquiring him would have him for at least next season too.

Status: Signed through the 2018-19 season
Biggest strength: Skating
Playoff experience: 41 points (10 goals, 31 assists) in 96 games; one Cup Final appearance
Three teams that make sense: Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins

 

GOALIES

Robin Lehner, G, Buffalo Sabres

Lehner, 26, could be the goalie of the present and future for the Sabres, but they'd have to re-sign him. If Buffalo general manager Jason Botterill thinks he can get a solid return for Lehner, who has proven himself as a No. 1, albeit on a last-place team, it might be enough to persuade him to make the trade and re-evaluate the goaltending position after the season.

Status: Can become RFA July 1

Biggest strength: Reactionary speed
Playoff experience: 0-1, 2.43 goals-against average, .920 save percentage in two appearances
Three teams that make sense: Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Islanders, Arizona Coyotes

Video: COL@BUF: Lehner turns aside Nieto on the rush

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