NHL Rumors: Notable Trade Reports on Road to 2021 Draft
Ahead of Saturday's roster freeze, a bunch of notable trades took place around the NHL.
It didn't take long for things to heat up after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup playoffs earlier in July, as teams have already started making changes to rosters ahead of the 2021-22 season.
That freeze, put in place as part of Wednesday's Seattle Kraken expansion draft, will come to an end Thursday at 1 p.m. ET. And with the 2021 NHL entry draft beginning Friday, there's the potential for the trade market to quickly pick back up.
Here's some of the latest trade buzz from around the NHL.
Blue Jackets Have 'Significant' Asking Price for Jones
Seth Jones' name has been featured in trade rumors early in the offseason. However, the 26-year-old defenseman remains on the Columbus Blue Jackets. And unless the team gets a big offer, it's possible that's not going to change ahead of the 2021-22 season.
According to The Athletic's Aaron Portzline, there's a "pretty good indication" that the Blue Jackets "aren't exactly blown away" by the trade offers they have received for Jones to this point. And if they are going to trade him, they are apparently looking for a "significant" return.
"They're looking for multiple assets, some combination of established young NHL players, top prospects and early-round draft picks," Portzline wrote.
Portzline also reported that many believe Columbus will try to deal Jones to a team for whom he's more likely to sign a long-term contract, as those organizations could be willing to give up a larger return. However, Portzline added that "a club source says that's not necessarily the case."
Jones began his career with the Nashville Predators, but he's been in Columbus since getting traded there in January 2016. This past season, he had five goals and 23 assists in 56 games.
When Will Tarasenko Be Leaving St. Louis?
Although St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko has made it known he wants to be traded, he remains on their roster. But the team has supposedly been having discussions, and it may be only a short amount of time before the 29-year-old forward is with a new franchise.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Blues received numerous trade offers for Tarasenko ahead of Saturday's roster freeze, including some proposals that would have seen the team take on Tarasenko's $7.5 million cap hit for each of the next two seasons. Yet St. Louis general manager Doug Armstrong didn't complete a deal.
Tarasenko has been left unprotected for the Seattle expansion draft. So maybe the Kraken will take him, leading to the Blues getting nothing in return. If that doesn't happen, maybe St. Louis would return to those pre-roster freeze offers.
"Should Seattle opt not to take Tarasenko, the sources say the trade offers still should be on the table after the expansion draft," Thomas wrote.
Tarasenko has spent his entire nine-year NHL career with the Blues, but injuries have limited him to 34 games over the past two seasons. But next season, he's likely going to get a fresh start with a new team, and we should soon find out which one it will be.
Could Rangers Trade Strome?
Since getting traded to the New York Rangers in November 2018, Ryan Strome has put up the biggest numbers of his career. This past season, he had 14 goals and 35 assists in 56 games, a year after tallying a career-high 59 points in 70 games.
Strome's recent play has apparently caught the attention of some other teams. According to Andy Strickland of Bally Sports Midwest, the center is garnering a "decent amount of trade interest" this offseason. So perhaps the 28-year-old center could soon be on the move.
Strickland reported that the Ottawa Senators are among the interested teams. The addition of such a veteran forward could be viewed internally as an important part in the next phase of their rebuild after their strong end to last season (10-3-1).
With only one year remaining on his contract, Strome could be a solid short-term addition for a team seeking an offensive boost. And he would come at an affordable price, as his cap hit for next season is just $4.5 million, per CapFriendly.