The NHL season is starting on Saturday, and with top name UFAs set to hit the market in July, there could be a very active trade season in which players like Alexander Edler and Jarome Iginla could be acquired in order to take an NHL team to the next level.
For each team, the "next level" is a different concept. For basement teams, the next level could be a step in the right direction, it could be making the playoffs for a bubble team and it could mean Stanley Cup contention for current playoff teams.
This list will feature players who are upcoming free agents, or players who could be available via trade to maintain a sense a realism. Although Evgeni Malkin would take almost every team to the next level, he won't be available for trade.
For many teams adding a veteran like Jarome Iginla, or a prized upcoming UFA like Corey Perry, Edler, or Ryan Getzlaf could put them over the top, so they might appear for multiple teams.
These players will be a first option for many teams who are setting their sights high to retool as a franchise.
Nonetheless, here is one player for each NHL team that could take them to the "next level".