NHL Trade Block Big Board for September 2022

Lyle Richardson@@SpectorsHockeyFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 1, 2022

NHL Trade Block Big Board for September 2022

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    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 25: Chicago Blackhawks Right Wing Patrick Kane (88) looks on during a NHL game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks on April 25, 2022 at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Chris Kohley/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (Chris Kohley/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

    Following a hectic July in the NHL trade market, the pace slowed considerably in August with just two trades taking place.

    The first occurred on Aug. 18, as the Calgary Flames shipped center Sean Monahan and a conditional 2025 first-round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for future considerations. The next came on Aug. 29 when the San Jose Sharks traded goaltender Adin Hill to the Vegas Golden Knights for a 2024 fourth-rounder.

    Despite the limited trade action, the rumor mill remained busy. Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane and Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun were among the notable players to surface in media trade gossip.

    With training camps opening in mid-September, the trade market could stir to life as general managers attempt to tinker with their rosters in anticipation of the coming season. Here's a look at the noteworthy players who could become trade candidates.

    Do you agree with our choices? Did we omit anyone? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Selection Process

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    VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 08: Vancouver Canucks Center J.T. Miller (9) and Arizona Coyotes Defenceman Jakob Chychrun (6) stand in front of Coyotes Goalie Karel Vejmelka (70) during their NHL game at Rogers Arena on February 8, 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (left) and Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller (Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

    This list is comprised of 15 NHL players who surfaced in trade rumors reported by media outlets throughout August. The top 10 were chosen on the basis of talent, potential trade value and the possibility of being moved.

    Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko, Philadelphia Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk and Winnipeg Jets forwards Blake Wheeler and Pierre-Luc Dubois were featured in our August Trade Block Big Board. They're not on our current list, as speculation about their trade status dried up in August.

    In no particular order, here are our noteworthy 15:

    Jake Allen, Montreal Canadiens

    Alex Kerfoot, Toronto Maple Leafs

    Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes

    J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks

    Josh Bailey, New York Islanders

    Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers

    Warren Foegele, Edmonton Oilers

    Anthony Beauvillier, New York Islanders

    Christian Dvorak, Montreal Canadiens

    Lars Eller, Washington Capitals

    Tyler Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings

    Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

    Craig Smith, Boston Bruins

    James Reimer, San Jose Sharks

    Marcus Petterssen, Pittsburgh Penguins

10. Alex Kerfoot, Toronto Maple Leafs

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    TAMPA, FL - MAY 12: Toronto Maple Leafs center Alexander Kerfoot (15) looks to pass the puck during the NHL Hockey game 6 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 12, 2022 at Amalie Arena in Tampa Florida (Photo by Andrew Bershaw /Icon_Sportswire)
    Toronto Maple Leafs forward Alex Kerfoot (Andrew Bershaw /Icon_Sportswire).

    Sitting above the salary cap by $1.5 million, the Toronto Maple Leafs have to be cap compliant when the season opens in October. They must also find a way to free up sufficient room to sign restricted free agent defenseman Rasmus Sandin.

    That could make Alex Kerfoot a cost-cutting trade candidate. The 28-year-old forward can play center or wing and is coming off a career-best 51-point season. However, he also carries a $3.5 million cap hit and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.

    On July 28, The Athletic's Jonas Siegel wondered if the Leafs' addition of versatile forward Calle Jarnkrok might make Kerfoot expendable. On Aug. 12, Leafs Nation's Jon Steitzer suggested the Carolina Hurricanes, Seattle Kraken, Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche as possible trade destinations.

    Kerfoot isn't the only cost-cutting candidate on the Leafs. Defenseman Justin Holl and his $2 million cap hit could also be shopped to make way for Sandin. However, it could be Kerfoot who gets peddled if it proves more costly to keep Sandin.

9. Lars Eller, Washington Capitals

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    TORONTO, ON - APRIL 14: Washington Capitals Center Lars Eller (20) in warmups prior to the regular season NHL game between the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs on April 14, 2022 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON. (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

    The Washington Capitals will be without Nicklas Backstrom to start this season as he recovers from hip surgery, but they still have depth at center with Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dylan Strome and Lars Eller. However, Washington Hockey Now's Sammi Silber reported on Aug. 11 that there's been some trade speculation about the 33-year-old Eller.

    Silber noted Eller struggled through injury and inconsistent play last season. He could also face a challenge for the third-line center position from promising young Connor McMichael. If so, he could become a player of interest in this season's NHL rumor mill.

    Despite Eller's struggles last season, he's been a valuable part of their roster since being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens in 2016. His experience and two-way skills helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2018 and could prove vital again this season, especially if injuries should hit the roster early.

    Eller also carries an affordable $3.5 million salary-cap hit for this season. Still, he's slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July. If McMichael outplays him and Backstrom returns to the lineup at some point this season, Eller could end up on the trade block.

8. Warren Foegele, Edmonton Oilers

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    CALGARY, AB - MAY 26: Warren Foegele #37 of the Edmonton Oilers in action against the Calgary Flames during Game Five of the Second Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome on May 26, 2022 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Oilers defeated the Flames 5-4 in overtime to win the series four games to one. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
    Edmonton Oilers winger Warren Foegele (Derek Leung/Getty Images)

    Jesse Puljujarvi has come up as a trade candidate should the Edmonton Oilers pursue a big-name winger such as Patrick Kane. Alternatively, trading Puljujarvi could help them become cap compliant after re-signing Ryan McLeod. On Aug. 3, however, the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson tweeted that he felt Warren Foegele was the most likely trade candidate.

    Foegele, 26, is a physical checking-line forward who can play either wing and possesses a decent offensive touch. He also carries an affordable $2.8 million annual average value through 2023-24.

    Like Puljujarvi, Foegele has frequently been mentioned as a trade option for the Oilers. On Aug. 24, Matheson's colleague David Staples cited Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer talking about what it might take for the Oilers to acquire Kane. He suggested Foegele or Puljujarvi would have to be part of the package to make the dollars work.

    Sitting $6 million above the $82.5 million salary cap, the Oilers must be cap compliant before the regular season opens in October. They are expected to place sidelined players Oscar Klefbom and Mike Smith on long-term injury reserve. However, they could also move someone like Foegele in a salary-shedding trade.

7. Anthony Beauvillier, New York Islanders

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    ELMONT, NEW YORK - APRIL 19: Anthony Beauvillier #18 of the New York Islanders skates against the Florida Panthers at UBS Arena on April 19, 2022 in Elmont, New York. Florida Panthers defeated the New York Islanders 3-2 in OT. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
    New York Islanders winger Anthony Beauvillier (Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images).

    During July, rumors linking the New York Islanders to Nazem Kadri had Anthony Beauvillier as a trade candidate to create cap room for the 31-year-old center. On Aug. 16, NYI Hockey Now's Stefan Rosner reported the Montreal Canadiens were among several teams interested in the 25-year-old winger.

    With Kadri having signed with the Calgary Flames, Rosner believes the time is right for the Islanders to pursue Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller. On Aug. 26, he pointed out that the Isles were interested in the 29-year-old center during the draft in July, but a rumored deal fell through.

    Rosner suggested packaging a first-round pick along with veteran defenseman Scott Mayfield and prospect blueliner Samuel Bolduc. He also speculated the Canucks could ask for a winger in the deal, and Beauvillier's youth and affordable $4.2 million salary-cap hit through 2023-24 could suit their needs.

    The Canucks appear unlikely to move Miller before the start of the season despite the current lack of activity in his contract discussions. Nevertheless, Beauvillier could remain a trade candidate in any Isles trade rumors during September.

6. Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers

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    EDMONTON, AB - June 6: Jesse Puljujarvi #13 of the Edmonton Oilers skates during Game Four of the Western Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Colorado Avalanche on June 6, 2022 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
    Edmonton Oilers right wing Jesse Puljujarvi (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

    Despite signing a one-year, $3 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers on July 26, Jesse Puljujarvi made our August Trade Block Big Board because his name kept popping up in trade rumors throughout July. That speculation continued to dog the 24-year-old winger over the past month.

    After the Oilers re-signed Kailer Yamamoto on Aug. 3, the Edmonton Journal's David Staples observed they were above the $82.5 million cap by $6.8 million. He anticipated they'll put Oscar Klefbom and Mike Smith on long-term injury reserve but would remain above the cap by $423,000 with restricted free agent forward Ryan McLeod yet to re-sign.

    Staples suggested Puljujarvi could become one of their Oilers' cost-cutting trade candidates. On Aug. 23, he cited Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer suggesting the club offer up Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele as part of a package offer to the Chicago Blackhawks for Patrick Kane.

    Time will tell if the Oilers dangle Puljujarvi as trade bait for Kane or any other top-six forward. They could simply ship him out to become cap compliant at the start of the season, though that goal could be achieved by merely demoting a depth player to the minors. What's clear is that Puljujarvi's new contract has done nothing to silence the trade gossip.

5. Craig Smith, Boston Bruins

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    BOSTON, MA - MAY 08: Craig Smith #12 of the Boston Bruins skates against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game Four of the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on May 8, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
    Boston Bruins winger Craig Smith (Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images).

    The Boston Bruins are sitting above the $82.5 million salary cap by $2.2 million. They can remain there when the regular season begins by placing sidelined players such as Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk on long-term injury reserve. Before those players return to action, however, they'll have to become cap compliant.

    Trading Craig Smith could be one way to address that issue. On Aug. 16, Boston Hockey Now's Jimmy Murphy reported the Bruins had discussed the 32-year-old winger with another club. He indicated a trade offer was made, but it appears they failed to reach an agreement.

    Smith carries a $3.1 million salary-cap hit and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. A middle-six forward who can play either wing, he had 36 points in 74 games last season.

    The Bruins could find other ways to get under the cap. Still, the fact Smith has surfaced in the rumor mill as a trade candidate suggests a trade remains a viable option. His status will be worth monitoring throughout September.

4. Christian Dvorak, Montreal Canadiens

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    MONTREAL, QC - APRIL 21: Christian Dvorak #28 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the Philadelphia Flyers in the NHL game at the Bell Centre on April 21, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
    Montreal Canadiens center Christian Dvorak (Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images).

    The Montreal Canadiens' acquisition of Sean Monahan from the Calgary Flames gives them considerable forward depth, especially at center. That prompted speculation suggesting they could draw from that depth for trade bait to bolster their defensive corps.

    Montreal Hockey Now's Marco D'Amico pointed out on Aug. 23 that the Canadiens have 15 forwards under contract for 2022-23 with restricted free agent Kirby Dach still to be signed. He also observed that general manager Kent Hughes would like to add a right-shot defenseman to his blue line.

    Sources told D'Amico there are varying degrees of interest in Christian Dvorak, Mike Hoffman and Joel Armia in the trade market. Given their depth at center, he suggested Dvorak could become expendable. Acquired from the Arizona Coyotes last summer by former Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin, he's a dependable two-way center who is solid in the faceoff circle.

    Dvorak, 26, is under contract through 2024-25 with an affordable average annual value of $4.5 million. He also lacks no-trade protection this season, giving Hughes a wide number of possible trade partners to work with. The Canadiens GM is under no pressure to move Dvorak, but the center could be the best trade asset to address his blue-line needs.

3. J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks

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    CALGARY, AB - APRIL 23: Vancouver Canucks Center J.T. Miller (9) in action during the first period of an NHL game where the Calgary Flames hosted the Vancouver Canucks on April 23, 2022, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller (Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

    Eligible for unrestricted free agent status next July, the future of J.T. Miller with the Vancouver Canucks remains a hot topic for media discussion. A fixture in the rumor mill since last season, the 29-year-old center continues to be a prime candidate for trade chatter entering September.

    CHEK-TV's Rick Dhaliwal tweeted on Aug. 15 that the two sides hadn't held contract discussions since the draft in July. On Aug. 26, he and Thomas Drance reported Miller's agent hasn't ruled out cutting off talks once the regular season begins. However, they doubt that would change the dynamic for the cost-conscious Canucks.

    The same day, NYI Hockey Now's Stefan Rosner pointed out the Islanders spoke with the Canucks about Miller during the draft, but the rumored trade fell apart. On Aug 27, Vancouver Hockey Now's Rob Simpson suggested the New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes as possible trade destinations.

    Miller will attract plenty of interest if he becomes available in the trade market. Much will depend on how his contract discussions unfold as well as the Canucks' performance during the coming season. Expect his name to appear on our future trade block boards.

2. Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes

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    TORONTO, ON - MARCH 10: Jakob Chychrun #6 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates after scoring the game winning goal in overtime against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Scotiabank Arena on March 10, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andrew Lahodynskyj/NHLI via Getty Images)
    Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun (Andrew Lahodynskyj/NHLI via Getty Images).

    Frequently mentioned as a trade candidate since last season, Jakob Chychrun was No. 4 on our August Trade Block Big Board. The skilled puck-moving blueliner is signed through 2024-25 at an affordable $4.6 million per season. However, media gossip tied the 24-year-old Arizona Coyotes defenseman to the Ottawa Senators.

    On Aug. 10, TSN's Shawn Simpson reported there was a sense the Coyotes would trade Chychrun before training camp opened in September. He indicated the Senators were among the interested clubs, but the asking price was "ridiculously high." Simpson heard the Coyotes were interested in draft picks rather than prospects or players in return.

    Former TSN reporter turned podcaster Brent Wallace reported on Aug. 16 that the Senators remained in trade talks with the Coyotes. He'd heard their asking price was two first-round picks and a high-end prospect, plus the Coyotes would take defenseman Nikita Zaitsev off the Senators' hands.

    Two days later, GOPHNX.com's Craig Morgan tweeted that Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong isn't in a rush to move Chychrun. It appears Senators GM Pierre Dorion has heard enough. On Aug. 26, the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reported Dorion balked at Armstrong's asking price.

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

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    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 21: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks forechecks during a 4-1 Los Angeles Kings win at Crypto.com Arena on April 21, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (Harry How/Getty Images).

    Patrick Kane's unrestricted free agent eligibility and uncertain future with the Chicago Blackhawks were the key factors that placed him atop our August 2022 Trade Block Big Board. He garners that honor again heading into September as trade rumors link the 33-year-old winger to the Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs.

    On Aug. 21, the Edmonton Journal's Kurt Leavins wondered if Kane might consider accepting a trade to the Oilers, suggesting it could cost at least a player, a top prospect and a first-round pick. Two days later, his colleague David Staples cited Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer proposing Jesse Puljujarvi or Warren Foegele being part of the return for Kane.

    Jason Gregor of Oilers Nation pointed out on Aug. 19 that Kane carries a $10.5 million salary-cap hit but is getting paid $2.9 million in actual salary. Nevertheless, he thinks it would take a three-team trade to enable the cap-strapped Oilers to take on his annual cap hit.

    Meanwhile, on Aug 23, the Toronto Star's Damien Cox was dismissive of speculation linking Kane to the Maple Leafs. He pointed out the Leafs lack blue-chip prospects and first-round picks that would be necessary to tempt the rebuilding Blackhawks in a trade offer.

    On Aug. 9, The Athletic's Scott Powers reported Kane and longtime teammate Jonathan Toews have not asked to be traded nor has management approached them about waiving their no-movement clauses. He indicated both players will be allowed to decide their futures. It's expected that they'll wait and see how this season plays out.

    Stats via NHL.com with salary info via Cap Friendly.


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