NHL Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Potential Jack Eichel, Jake DeBrusk Deals

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIAugust 25, 2021

Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel (9) skates during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers, Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

Some noteworthy trades have taken place around the NHL this offseason, but they all occurred during July. Since the calendar turned to August, there hasn't been nearly as much activity around the league.

But considering there's still one month before the start of the preseason, there could still be some notable transactions that take place during the leadup to the 2021-22 season. And trade rumors have continued to circulate in recent weeks, so it wouldn't be a total surprise to see a deal or two happen in the near future.

Many of the names featured in recent trade rumors are players who have been surrounded by buzz all offseason. Yet—for now, at leastthey still remain on their current teams.

Here's some of the latest trade buzz from around the NHL.


Numerous Teams Remain Linked to Eichel

Few NHL players have as much uncertainty surrounding them as Jack Eichel. Not only is the Buffalo Sabres center dealing with a neck injury that could lead to surgery, he's also been at the heart of trade rumors for the entirety of the offseason.

According to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, there are four teams still linked to Eichel as suitors: the Anaheim Ducks, Vegas Golden Knights, New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames. But Pagnotta added it's likely that other teams have contacted the Sabres "to see if the price has dropped."

However, it seems that it hasn't. Pagnotta reported that Buffalo is still hoping to land four key assets, a mix of "young NHL-proven/ready talent and top prospects and a first-round draft pick" in exchange for Eichel. It's a high price, but the 24-year-old Eichel has also been a solid offensive player over his first six NHL seasons.

Because Eichel is likely to undergo surgery to repair the herniated disc in his neck, he's unlikely to be ready to play at the start of the 2021-22 season, per Pagnotta. But it doesn't appear that will prevent teams from looking to trade for him.

"In the grand scheme of things, not having Eichel available for the start of the season shouldn't really deter a team from trading for him," Pagnotta wrote. "Sure, a rival GM might argue for a lower price, but Sabres GM Kevyn Adams has held firm this whole time."

Buffalo hasn't made the playoffs since 2011. Eichel was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft, so he's never gotten to experience the postseason. But some of the teams rumored to be interested in possibly trading for him are perennial playoff contenders, so perhaps Eichel could be making his postseason debut in the near future.


Two Teams Still Interested in Trading for DeBrusk?

Nick Wass/Associated Press

Jake DeBrusk has spent his first four NHL seasons with the Boston Bruins, and he's still a member of the team heading into the 2021-22 campaign. However, it's not a guarantee things will remain that way.

The Athletic's Fluto Shinzawa recently reported that the Edmonton Oilers remain interested in trading for DeBrusk, as do the Calgary Flames "to a lesser degree." 

"Combine that with the cluster of left-shot forwards and the shortness of cap space, and trading DeBrusk remains a possibility," Shinzawa wrote. "A No. 2 center would be the ideal return."

DeBrusk was an efficient scorer during his first three seasons in Boston, tallying at least 120 points (62 goals and 58 assists) in 203 games. However, he struggled a bit during the 2020-21 campaign, recording only five goals and nine assists in 41 games, missing some time because of injury.

But DeBrusk is still young, as he'll be turning 25 in October. So there's plenty of time for him to return to form and get back to putting up the impressive offensive numbers he did early in his career.

Will DeBrusk still be in Boston as he's trying to do that? We'll have to wait to see if the Bruins can be swayed to trade him or whether they'll decide to hang on to him.