Full Scouting Guide for the Top 10 NHL Trade Targets

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2013

Full Scouting Guide for the Top 10 NHL Trade Targets

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    Some of the names have been listed in trade rumors since last year.

    Others have been on and off the list and some are much more recent additions.

    The trade deadline hits the NHL April 3. That day has often been a very busy one for the NHL, but that may not be the case in this truncated season.

    Some teams that might be willing to trade their stars over the course of an 82-game season might think they are still in contention in this shorter season, and they may be more likely to hold on to those players.

    However, here are scouting reports on 10 players who are candidates to be traded between now and the deadline.

Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames

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    Jarome Iginla is a bull-strong player who has been one of the most consistent scorers in the league since 2000-01.

    Iginla, 35, has scored at least 30 goals in each full season since then, and he does it with his ability to anchor himself in the slot so he can jump on rebounds and deflect shots into the net.

    At 6'1" and 210 pounds, Iginla is slightly bigger than the average player, but he is much stronger than his size would indicate.

    Iginla's bread-and-butter plays are made from the slot, but he can also let loose with his dangerous wrister from further outside.

    Iginla has probably slowed down by a step, but he can still be an effective player if the Flames choose to trade this future Hall of Famer to a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Martin St. Louis still has the explosive speed and playmaking ability that made him one of the league's most explosive players over the last decade.

    With the Lightning on the outside looking in at the playoffs, Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times raised the possibility that the 37-year-old St. Louis may ask Tampa Bay general manager Steve Yzerman for a trade so he could play for a Stanley Cup contender.

    Cristodero admitted the thought was his own and could be labeled as speculation, but unless the Lightning have a major turnaround, this will be the second straight year the Lightning miss the playoffs after getting to the seventh game of the Eastern Conference finals in 2010-11.

    St. Louis looks even smaller than his listed 5'8" and 176-pound listed height and weight indicate. However, St. Louis is quite aggressive for a smaller player and is not afraid to go into the dirty areas because he's got the quickness to make plays in tight areas.

    St. Louis has excellent vision and can deliver accurate passes to his teammates. He can also score big goals.

    Contenders who need a forward would be wise to call Yzerman to check on St. Louis' availability.

Mike Ribeiro, Washington Capitals

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    The Washington Capitals have not been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, but they don't look like they will be in a position to make the tournament this season.

    General manager George McPhee should consider trading his free-agent assets, and that means he should actively market Mike Ribeiro, who is in the final year of a five-year, $25 million contract. He will be free to sign with any team who offers him a deal next season.

    Ribeiro, 33, is a shifty player with the instincts to put himself in a position to score goals and the hands to make accurate passes to his teammates.

    Ribeiro is a 6'0" and 177-pounder who is not usually going to get involved in physical skirmishes. However, he is known for taking hit-and-run type shots at opponents. He can be very annoying to play against, but that doesn't mean he couldn't be an asset. He's also a solid offensive attribute for any team that pursues him in a trade.

    Ribeiro has been quite productive for the Caps this season, scoring 10 goals and 21 assists through March 17. Five of his goals have come on the power play.

Jay Bouwmeester, Calgary Flames

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    Veteran defenseman Jay Bouwmeester has one year remaining on a contract that will pay him $6.68 million in 2013-14 (source: CapGeek.com).

    Bouwmeester, 29, still has plenty to offer in his NHL career. However, the Flames almost certainly will miss the playoffs once again—even though they will make it close—and Bouwmeester could bring about a younger prospect and a draft pick in return.

    That's what the Flames need to get better in the future if stubborn general manager Jay Feaster is willing to make a hard decision.

    Bouwmeester has excellent defensive skills, and he will jump in the play and contribute on the offensive end when he has an opportunity to do so.

    Bouwmeester (6'4" and 212 lbs) is big enough to assert himself physically. He can go into the corners and take the puck away from opponents, and he is courageous enough to block shots.

    Bouwmeester would be an asset for any Stanley Cup contender looking for depth on the blue line.

Ryane Clowe, San Jose Sharks

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    It has been a nightmarish season for Ryane Clowe of the San Jose Sharks.

    After scoring 24 goals in 2010-11 and 17 goals last year, Clowe has not found the back of the net through March 17.

    That does not mean Clowe, 30, can't turn it around. Clowe will be a free agent at the end of the season, and while potential trade partners with the Sharks might be looking at a player who is squeezing his stick a too tightly the rest of the season, they will be getting a player who will give 100 percent on an every-night basis.

    Clowe (6'2" and 225 lbs) is not afraid to go into the corners and get his nose dirty so he can emerge with the puck.

    He will also drop the gloves and engage with opponents when his team needs a spark.

    Since Clowe will be a free agent in the summer, he should not cost much for a team that wants to acquire him.

David Clarkson, New Jersey Devils

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    David Clarkson was one of the Devils' heroes in their run to the Stanley Cup Finals last season.

    Clarkson, 28, will be a free agent at the end of the season.

    His pedigree and track record give him the look of a postseason difference maker. If general manager Lou Lamoriello decides to move him, several teams could make a play for his services.

    He could also sign back with the Devils in free agency if that's what he wanted to do.

    Clarkson (6'1" and 200 lbs) has the size and toughness to play down low, and he can also find the corners with his solid wrist shot.

    Clarkson scored 30 goals last year, and he also had 12 points in the playoffs last year. All three of the goals he scored in the postseason were game winners.

    That makes Clarkson a valuable and impressive commodity.

Valtteri Filppula, Detroit Red Wings

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    The Detroit Red Wings have been the NHL's standard bearer for 20 years.

    There was a thought that their dominant run was about to come to an end at the end of last season when future Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom retired after the Wings lost a first-round series to the Nashville Predators.

    The Wings are not out of playoff contention. They are in fifth place as of March 17 with 33 points, but they are just three points ahead of the ninth-place Phoenix Coyotes.

    General manager Ken Holland could decide that the 2013 season is not the Wings' year. That conclusion will make the Red Wings active prior to the trade deadline.

    Versatile Valtteri Filppula is a valuable player who has the ability to make any contender a stronger team. Filppula will be a free agent at the end of the season.

    Filppula, 28, plays well on both ends of the ice. Consider him a poor man's Pavel Datsyuk because he can be quite creative with the puck while maintaining his defensive responsibilities.

    Filppula scored a career-high 66 points last year and was plus-17.

Brenden Morrow, Dallas Stars

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    The Dallas Stars are in 13th place in the Western Conference. They have failed to make the playoffs since the 2007-08 season.

    Joe Nieuwendyk added golden oldies Jaromir Jagr and Ray Whitney in the offseason in an attempt to help his team make the postseason, but the Stars are failing at this point in the season.

    Nieuwendyk needs to look to the future and that means trading valuable free-agent-to-be Brenden Morrow.

    Morrow, 34, is a two-way player who is solid on the defensive end and can also take advantage of his offensive opportunities.

    Morrow (6'0" and 205 lbs) is not afraid to drop the gloves.

    Morrow can provide depth at the left wing position for teams that need a third- or fourth-line player.

Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators

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    The savvy veteran is nearing the end of the line but still retains the ability to put the puck in the net.

    That's one of the classic late-season trade acquisitions in the NHL.

    Daniel Alfredsson has the resume to fill that role in 2013.

    Alfredsson, 40, will be a free agent after the season ends. He has been with the Ottawa Senators throughout his career. He loves playing in Ottawa.

    Alfredsson has not stated any desire to leave the Senators this season, even though they have been beset with injuries. However, contending teams that need additional scoring would be foolish not to look at Alfredsson as a contributor for the rest of the season.

    Alfredsson has slowed by a step or two, but he can still fire the puck. He has the slap shot to be a threat from long distance, and he has the wrister to beat goalies closer to the net.

Lubomir Visnovsky, New York Islanders

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    The New York Islanders are surprising many NHL observers because they are in contention for a slot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

    As of March 17, they are in ninth place, just two points behind the Carolina Hurricanes. But they are still an unlikely playoff participant.

    The Islanders have assets to trade. One of those assets is defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky,  36, who will be a free agent at the end of the season.

    Visnovsky has expressed interest in playing in the KHL again (source: NBCsports.com).

    Visnovsky (5'10" and 197 lbs) is a skilled defender and a shifty puck carrier. He has the skills that would make him valuable to any contending team that needs depth on the defensive end.