Magnus Paajarvi's development could be helped by a trade.
The Edmonton Oilers are steeped in young front-line talent among their forwards.
Their headline players are Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
Magnus Paajarvi is right behind those four. Paajarvi was the team's first-round pick (10th overall) in 2009.
Paajarvi has not yet developed into a productive NHL player, but he has the skating speed, net drive and skills to become a talented player.
The Oilers are far from a finished product and need help on the defensive end. They could use a veteran defenseman and would most likely be willing to move Paajarvi in order to get a defenseman who could steady the ship.
Here's a look at five teams that might be willing to talk trade with the Oilers about Paajarvi.
Defenseman Andrew Ference
The Bruins are a veteran team that has quite a bit of young talent. Players like Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton appear to be stars of the future.
General manager Peter Chiarelli may be active prior to the trade deadline with an eye towards bringing in veteran scoring talent. However, he knows that the future is important and he may be willing to move one of his defenseman for a young and talented player like Paajarvi.
It's unlikely he would ever consider the idea of trading Dennis Seidenberg, perhaps the most underappreciated defenseman in the NHL.
The Oilers might prefer Johnny Boychuk or Adam McQuaid, but might take Andrew Ference if offered, especially if he could be convinced to sign an extension on his contract. Ference is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the season.
The injury list is devastating in Ottawa.
The Senators have plenty of heart and it does not appear they are going to give it up right now, but it seems like a lot to ask a team that lost Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek to remain in contention much longer.
The Senators have some strong young forwards but they may want to consider adding Paajarvi.
If they would be willing to part with a veteran defenseman like Chris Phillips or Marc Methot, they might be able to pick up a potential star like Paajarvi.
This will only be considered if general manager Bryan Murray determines that the Senators are no longer legitimate playoff contenders.
The Pittsburgh Penguins likely need an upgrade to their own defensive core if they are going to make a long run in the playoffs this year.
They have been giving up too many goals and their defense has been leaky.
While they have a roster filled with solid defensive players, they are not performing up to expectations. General manager Ray Shero might want to see if he can add a top-line defenseman for the stretch run.
However, once the season is over, he might be willing to trade one of his veteran defensemen for a player with star potential like Paajarvi.
The Dallas Stars are one of five teams tied for fourth place in the Western Conference.
They have a legitimate chance of making the Stanley Cup playoffs after a long absence. However, they could slip out of contention with an ill-advised slump and that would leave the team in a rather tenuous position.
The Stars have a lot of older talent—Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney are both over 40—and could probably use an infusion of youth. That's just what Paajarvi could give them.
If Dallas general manager Joe Nieuwendyk determines that Paajarvi has enough going for him to send the Oilers a defenseman, then the Stars could be in the mix for the potential star.
The St. Louis Blues might be the ideal trading partner for the St. Louis Blues.
Head coach Ken Hitchcock has a slew of talented defensemen on his roster. Hitchcock believes in team defense and bases his coaching philosophy on stopping the opponent from getting comfortable in the offensive zone, but he might be willing to trade one of his defensemen if he believes in Paajarvi's talent.
Hitchcock and general manager Doug Armstrong might be willing to move Ian Cole, Barret Jackman or Kris Russell for a potential star like Paajarvi.