NHL Trade Speculation: One Untouchable Prospect Each Team Won't Trade

Jeff LangridgeCorrespondent IIIFebruary 23, 2012

NHL Trade Speculation: One Untouchable Prospect Each Team Won't Trade

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    This time of the year, teams are sometimes willing to do anything to get the piece that might get them closer to their goal of winning a Stanley Cup. Sometimes that includes dealing a top prospect. If a team is sure they're getting something back that is a sure thing, they are more often than not willing to part with a top prospect.

    However, each team has a prospect that they should not even consider trading. Teams might ask for them, but if they do, it would be wise for the team that received the phone call to hang up.

    Here is the most untouchable prospect for each NHL team.

Anaheim: John Gibson

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    Position: Goalie

    2011-12 Stats: 25 games played, 17 wins, .932 SV%, 2.60 GAA

    Team: Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

    Drafted: 39th overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2013-14

    Clearly the best goalie of his draft class, John Gibson slipped into the second round when the Ducks snapped him up. The heir to the Ducks starting goalie position, Gibson will require a few more seasons of development before he can take over.

Boston: Dougie Hamilton

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    Position: Defenseman

    2011-12 Stats: 38 games played, 14 goals, 42 assists, 56 points

    Team: Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL)

    Drafted: Ninth overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    The Bruins snapped up Dougie Hamilton with the last pick they acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Phil Kessel trade. A future force on the Bruins blueline, Hamilton will be ready to make the jump next season.

Buffalo: Joel Armia

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    Position: Right Wing

    2011-12 Stats: 44 games played, 15 goals, 16 assists, 31 points

    Team: Assat Pori (SM-liiga)

    Drafted: 16th overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2013-14

    The first non-North American drafted by the Buffalo Sabres since the 2006 NHL entry draft, Joel Armia was a big part of Finland making it to the medal round of the 2012 World Junior Championships before losing to Canada. The Sabres usually let their prospects spend at least one year in the AHL, so if he makes it to North America next year, he will make it to the Sabres in two seasons.

Calgary: Markus Granlund

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    Position: Center

    2011-12 Stats: 37 games played, 11 goals, 14 assists, 25 points

    Team: HIFK Helsinki (SM-liiga)

    Drafted: 45th overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2013-14

    Another important part of Finland's World Junior team, Markus Granlund is the younger brother of Mikael, a Minnesota Wild prospect. While perhaps not as skilled as his brother, Markus will definitely be a key cog in the Flames lineup when he makes the team.

Carolina: Ryan Murphy

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    Position: Defense

    2011-12 Stats: 39 games played, 9 goals, 33 assists, 42 points

    Team: Kitchener Rangers (OHL)

    Drafted: 12th overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    A lot of people were surprised when Ryan Murphy almost made Carolina this season. With the Hurricanes possibly being in a mini-rebuild, Murphy is all but a sure thing to make the 'Canes roster next season.

Chicago: Brandon Saad

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    Position: Left Wing

    2011-12 Stats: 33 games played, 24 goals, 35 assists, 59 points

    Team: Saginaw Spirit (OHL)

    Drafted: 43rd overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    Brandon Saad actually made the opening day roster of the Chicago Blackhawks this season. Though they sent him back to junior, the playing time he had with Jonathan Toews had to help his development. I don't see any reason why he can't stay with the team next season.

Colorado: Duncan Siemens

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    Position: Defense

    2011-12 Stats: 51 games played, 6 goals, 20 assists, 26 points

    Team: Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

    Drafted: 11th overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2013-14

    With all the depth of young players the Colorado Avalanche have on their blueline, Duncan Siemens could find it hard to crack the lineup. However, it will be hard to hold the 11th-overall pick back that long.

Columbus: Boone Jenner

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    Position: Center

    2011-12 Stats: 35 games played, 18 goals, 22 assists, 40 points

    Team: Oshawa Generals (OHL)

    Drafted: 37th overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2013-14

    I say that Boone Jenner might not be ready for the NHL until two seasons from now, but with all the problems the Columbus Blue Jackets have been having, I would not be surprised to see him in a Blue Jacket uniform next season.

Dallas: Jack Campbell

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    Position: Goalie

    2011-12 Stats: 39 games played, 17 wins, .899 SV%, 3.38 GAA

    Team: Windsor Spitfires and Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)

    Drafted: 11th overall, 2010 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    The Dallas Stars have been waiting for Jack Campbell to make it to the NHL ever since they drafted him. He has been stellar for Team USA at the World Juniors for two of the past three years, and he looks like he could be a great goaltender in the NHL. Dallas sure hopes so, and he could start to show it as early as next year.

Detroit: Tomas Jurco

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    Position: Right Wing

    2011-12 Stats: 42 games played, 28 goals, 36 assists, 64 points

    Team: Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

    Drafted: 35th overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2013-14

    Tomas Jurco, known for his mastery while handling the puck, definitely has the skill to play in the NHL very soon. Being in the Detroit system, however, he will bide his time in junior and the AHL before making his way to the Red Wings.

Edmonton: Oscar Klefbom

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    Position: Defense

    2011-12 Stats: 30 games played, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points

    Team: Farjestad BK Karlstad (SEL)

    Drafted: 19th overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2013-14

    Edmonton is definitely in need of defenseman, and they will finally be getting some homegrown backup as Oscar Klefbom develops and makes the team. He wasn't drafted for his offense; that's for sure, but he will help Edmonton nonetheless. There's no way Edmonton deals any of their young defensemen.

Florida: Jonathan Huberdeau

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    Position: Center/Left Wing

    2011-12 Stats: 26 games played, 19 goals, 33 assists, 52 points

    Team: Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

    Drafted: Third overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    Another player that could very well be playing in the NHL now, Jonathan Huberdeau will be join the Panthers next year. If they can continue playing like they have this year, Huberdeau will only make them better, and they could very easily be the top team in the Southeast Division for a long time.

Los Angeles: Tyler Toffoli

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    Position: Right Wing/Center

    2011-12 Stats: 54 games played, 45 goals, 43 assists, 88 points

    Team: Ottawa 67's (OHL)

    Drafted: 47th overall, 2010 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    One of the more underrated top prospects in the NHL, Tyler Toffoli is leading the Ontario Hockey League in scoring with 88 points. With the depth on the wing not being that strong in Los Angeles, don't be surprised if Toffoli finds a way to make the Kings lineup next season.

Minnesota: Mikael Granlund

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    Position: Center/Wing

    2011-12 Stats: 43 games played, 20 goals, 29 assists, 49 points

    Team: HIFK Helsinki (SM-liiga)

    Drafted: Ninth overall, 2010 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    The Minnesota Wild are salivating over the chance to see Mikael Granlund in a Wild uniform next season. The only reason that he is not already is because he chose to stay in Finland for one more season. With one more year of development, he will only be better come next season.

Montreal: Nathan Beaulieu

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    Position: Defense

    2011-12 Stats: 43 games played, 8 goals, 32 assists, 40 points

    Team: Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)

    Drafted: 17th overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2013-14

    Montreal sure looks to be stockpiling defensemen in the draft in recent years. PK Subban is already an offensive stalwart on the Canadiens defense, while Jarred Tinordi will eventually be a defensive specialist in Montreal. When Nathan Beaulieu arrives in Montreal, he will provide the all-around game. He will be the final piece in the defensive drafting.

Nashville: Austin Watson

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    Position:

    2011-12 Stats: 49 games played, 23 goals, 37 assists, 60 points

    Team: Peterborough Petes and London Knights (OHL)

    Drafted: 18th overall, 2010 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2013-14

    Nashville finally looks to be a team that is really fighting to be a Stanley Cup contender in the Western Conference. While that might make them more likely to deal away prospects, Austin Watson will not be one of them. Traded to the league-leading London Knights midseason, he will get some valuable playoff experience.

New Jersey: Scott Wedgewood

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    Position: Goalie

    2011-12 Stats: 33 games played, 19 wins, .911 SV%, 3.03 GAA

    Team: Plymouth Whalers (OHL)

    Drafted: 84th overall, 2010 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2013-14

    It could be said that Canada would not have reached the medal round without Scott Wedgewood. That could or could not be true, but the New Jersey Devils are hoping that he was the biggest reason. With Martin Brodeur nearing the end of his career, the Devils need a replacement to show himself. Wedgewood could be that man.

New York Islanders: Ryan Strome

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    Position: Center

    2011-12 Stats: 34 games played, 22 goals, 29 assists, 51 points

    Team: Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL)

    Drafted: Fifth overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    Another high draft pick that the Islanders are hoping leads them into the playoffs, Ryan Strome will make the team full-time next season. The Islanders are hoping that he and John Tavares can return them to some semblance of what they were in the 1980's.


New York Rangers: Chris Kreider

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    Position: Left Wing

    2011-12 Stats: 32 games played, 19 goals, 17 assists, 36 points

    Team: Boston College (H-East)

    Drafted: 19th overall, 2009 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2013-14

    If you believe the rumors that Chris Kreider could be on his way to Columbus in a deal for Rick Nash, I don't think he should be dealt. He has been the Rangers top prospect ever since he was drafted, and to trade him now would be a huge mistake.

Ottawa: Mika Zibanejad

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    Position: Center/Right Wing

    2011-12 Stats: 19 games played, 4 goals, 5 assists, 9 points

    Team: Djurgardens IF Stockholm (SEL)

    Drafted: Sixth overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    I am a firm believer that Mika Zibanejad should be playing for the Ottawa Senators this season. He would have had a full season to be mentored by Daniel Alfredsson first-hand rather than just nine games. Now, if Alfredsson retires after the season, he won't be able to play with him. Also, the Sens just might be a bit better with Zibanejad on the team.

Philadelphia: Sean Couturier

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    Position: Center

    2011-12 Stats: 54 games played, 10 goals, 11 assists, 21 points

    Team: Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)

    Drafted: Eighth overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: Already there

    OK, maybe you can't consider Sean Couturier a prospect, but Philadelphia's cupboards are bare. There are no untradeable prospects anywhere in the Flyers system.

Phoenix: Brandon Gormley

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    Position: Defense

    2011-12 Stats: 35 games played, 10 goals, 22 assists, 32 points

    Team: Moncton Wildcats and Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)

    Drafted: 13th overall, 2010 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    The Phoenix Coyotes already have some good, young defensemen playing for them in Oliver Ekman-Larsson and David Rundblad. Next year, they will be joined by Brandon Gormley. Projected to be a top-five pick in his draft year, he fell to 13th when other teams decided to fill other needs. Phoenix couldn't be happier, and fans will start to see it next season.

Pittsburgh: Simon Despres

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    Position: Defense

    2011-12 Stats: 26 games played, 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points

    Team: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL)

    Drafted: 30th overall, 2009 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    Simon Despres has already played 14 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins this season and could find more playing time with them when the playoffs come around. The Penguins might be deep on the blueline, but Despres will surely find a way to make his way into the lineup.

San Jose: Freddie Hamilton

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    Position: Center

    2011-12 Stats: 49 games played, 26 goals, 38 assists, 64 points

    Team: Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL)

    Drafted: 129th overall, 2010 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2013-14

    Freddie Hamilton is still pretty low in the San Jose Sharks prospects depth chart, but his performance in the World Juniors will definitely raise his stock. At 20 years old, he could be a couple seasons from making it to the Sharks.

St. Louis: Vladimir Tarasenko

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    Position: Right Wing

    2011-12 Stats: 51 games played, 22 goals, 22 assists, 44 points

    Team: Novosibirsk Siber and St. Petersburg SKA (KHL)

    Drafted: 16th overall, 2010 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    Just as in Mikael Granlund's case, Vladimir Tarasenko is just playing one more season in his native country before jumping to the NHL. The St. Louis Blues have been waiting patiently for him for two years and will finally get him in their lineup next season.

Tampa Bay: Carter Ashton

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    Position: Right Wing/Left Wing

    2011-12 Stats: 53 games played, 18 goals, 16 assists, 34 points

    Team: Norfolk Admirals (AHL)

    Drafted: 29th overall, 2009 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    With the Tampa Bay Lightning blowing everything up, I would expect Carter Ashton to be a fixture in Tampa starting next season. Depending on how many players are traded away, he might even see time this season.

Toronto: Joe Colborne

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    Position: Center/Left Wing

    2011-12 Stats: 43 games played, 16 goals, 19 assists, 35 points

    Team: Toronto Marlies (AHL)

    Drafted: 16th overall, 2008 draft (by Boston)

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    Joe Colborne was the prize of the Tomas Kaberle deal and has been devoloping well playing for the Marlies this year. In nine games with the Maple Leafs this season, he didn't look out of place. If a spot opens up, expect him to take it.

Vancouver: Jordan Schroeder

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    Position: Center/Right Wing

    2011-12 Stats: 52 games played, 15 goals, 17 assists, 32 points

    Team: Chicago Wolves (AHL)

    Drafted: 22nd overall, 2009 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    It's hard to crack the lineup of one of the deepest teams in the NHL. Just ask Cody Hodgson. Jordan Schroeder could be in the same boat. He has the talent to make the NHL next year, but if there's no room, there's no room.

Washington: Evgeny Kuznetsov

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    Position: Winger/Center

    2011-12 Stats: 47 games played, 19 goals, 22 assists, 41 points

    Team: Chelyabinsk Traktor (KHL)

    Drafted: 26th overall, 2010 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    Six foot tall, cocky Russian who belongs to the Washingon Capitals. Who do you think of when I say that? Alex Ovechkin probably comes to mind. You could also think of Alex Semin. It also describes Washington's top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov. The way he has acted in the World Juniors has been classless.

    That being said, he's a great player and will be a force for the Capitals starting next season.

Winnipeg: Mark Scheifele

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    Position: Center

    2011-12 Stats: 37 games played, 19 goals, 31 assists, 50 points

    Team: Barrie Colts (OHL)

    Drafted: Seventh overall, 2011 draft

    Could Make the NHL: 2012-13

    Mark Scheifele is another player who I believe should be playing in the NHL this season. The Winnipeg Jets are in the bottom 10 in league scoring, and Scheifele would have definitely helped. Also, with the Jets in a close playoff race, they could use all the help they can get, and now, Scheifele is unavailable to them. He'll be a Jet next season.