NHL: Harrison's Top Five Available Players at the Trade Deadline

Harrison LastContributor IFebruary 25, 2009

All of the players on my list have had rumors swirling around them for a good amount of time now. They will be valuable assets to any team that decides to trade for them. Not only will I include why this player is an asset, I will state the teams that could use their help. Enjoy!


5) Whitney, PIT (Traded to ANA on Feb. 26 for Chris Kunitz & prospect Eric Tangradi)

Ryan Whitney is one of the top defensemen in the league. A reason why you do not hear about him as much is because he is being overshadowed by Sergei Gonchar. Whitney is young (26-years-old) and is already a top paring defender. He has the size of a defenseman (6'4, 220lbs.) and is not afraid to throw around his weight. Whitney makes the first past out of the zone crisp and clean and can man the point on the powerplay. He is not only a good setup man, but he can also score goals himself. Per season, he can be relied upon to score between 40 and 50 points.

Teams that can use him

Rangers, Senators, Flyers, Blue Jackets, Stars. All of these teams need a puck-moving defenseman who can be counted on for the penalty kill, powerplay, and even strength. They need their No. 1 defenseman.


4) Tkachuk, STL

Keith Tkachuk is a veteran of 17 NHL seasons. He can provided leadership to any team and can also score and produce points. Tkachuk is good for at least 50 points per season and can help any team who lacks a sniper or needs an extra scoring threat. He is not the same as he used to be, but he is still very talented.

Teams that can use him

Rangers, Panthers, Wild, Predators. Each team is among the lowest in the league in the scoring department and is trying to make a push for the playoffs. Tkachuk's skill would allow each team to score more goals and reach the playoffs.


3 )Staal, PIT

Jordan Staal is the youngest player on this list at the age of 20. He has never truly been able to shine for the Penguins because he has been stuck on the third line (with Crosby and Malkin taking up the first two center positions). Not only is he related to Eric and Marc Staal, but he can also provide great offense and great defense. He can be a difference-maker on the penalty kill by scoring short handed goals (as we saw in his rookie season). Any team that picks him up will get a strong and gifted first line center in their hands.

Teams that can use him

Canadiens, Rangers, Hurricanes, Panthers, Wild, Stars, Oilers. They all need someone who can be a scoring threat. Each needs that extra punch and more pucks in the back of the opposing teams net.


2) Pronger, ANA

Chris Pronger may be getting old, but he is ageing like fine wine...not milk. He does everything. He hits, he skates, he hits, and he can score. Good for over 50 points per season and over 100 PIM and a solid +/-. He is the all around defenseman that every team wants and needs.

Teams that can use him

Rangers, Senators, Flyers, Sabres, Blue Jackets, Blues. Each team here needs that all around defenseman who can be relied on for everything and anything. Pronger is the best defenseman on the market hands down.


1) Kovalchuk, ATL

Ilya Kovalchuk. A superstar free agent at the end of the year can be valuable to any team that needs a natural goal scorer. His nifty moves and quick hands make him one of the best snipers out there. He has speed and a cannon of a shot and can be used anywhere on the powerplay, including on the point.

Teams that can use him

Rangers, Canadians, Panthers, Hurricanes, Oilers, Predators. This superstar can fit into any team's roster, but these teams need him the most. They are in the playoff race but just need that one player who can score goals in bunches for them.