NHL trade board 2022-23: O’Reilly, Tarasenko injuries, plus updates on Chychrun, Horvat and more

view original post

There have been a number of substantial developments since The Athletic’s 2022-23 NHL trade board first went up on Dec. 15, just before the league’s holiday roster freeze. Teams skidding. A key modified no-trade clause activating. A prospect worth trading away your best NHL performers to tank for, starring on the big stage at world juniors.

Advertisement

But no development was bigger than the news that came out of St. Louis on Monday, with the fifth- and sixth-ranked players on our 1.0 board, Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko, being placed on injured reserve by the Blues.

The injuries obviously mean that their trade value slides, as there won’t be much trade buzz around them until they near returns. But it doesn’t knock them off our board entirely. In fact, assuming both are back playing ahead of the March 3 deadline — O’Reilly has a broken foot and will be re-evaluated in six weeks, and Tarasenko has an injured hand and will be re-evaluated in four weeks — and assuming that their absences cause the Blues to fall out of playoff contention, there will be no ambiguity anymore. The pending unrestricted free agents will be prime rentals.

Our entries for O’Reilly and Tarasenko below are updated to reflect the latest, as are a number of other players whose status has moved since our initial board was published, including John Klingberg, Jakob Chychrun and Patrick Kane. There are a few new players in the mix, and correspondingly a few who have fallen off. Not joining the list, notably, is Alexis Lafrenière, who we’re hearing the Rangers still have no intention of moving.

Players, as in the past, are in order of who we’re hearing the most about — which ones are generating the most buzz around the league, taking into account both the potential impact of the player and the probability he’d actually be traded.

Analysis is from The Athletic’s Eric Duhatschek, Pierre LeBrun and Michael Russo.

Note: This list will be a living document, with frequent updates to rankings and analysis, based on the latest rumblings and the market’s ebbs and flows, so bookmark it and check back regularly.


You never say “never” in these situations, but Horvat is having a career season as a pending unrestricted free agent, and the Canucks are in full trade mode on him since he rejected their latest contract offer. The value is red-hot, and it seems like this just needed to get done last summer, when the sides were too far apart in negotiations. “There’s been no new negotiating conversations in terms of Bo Horvat,” his agent Pat Morris said late last week. And because he doesn’t have a no-trade clause, the Canucks can entertain the max number of bidders. I don’t anticipate a quick resolution because so many contending teams are so close to the cap, but as we get closer to March 3, watch out. I really like him as a fit in Colorado, and there’s no question that as we close in on the deadline the Avalanche will want to add to their top six, having never replaced the departed Nazem Kadri. — LeBrun, Jan. 3

2. Jakob Chychrun, Coyotes

According to Pierre’s reporting, the price remains two first-round picks plus another asset as part of any package for Chychrun. And it is a price justified by his $4.6 million average annual value for another 2 1/2 years — a bargain for a top-pairing defenseman. General manager Bill Armstrong recently told The Athletic he’s sticking to his guns: “We have done more deals than any other NHL team since I’ve come in, and my thought process is showing the carbon copy of a trade that was done before and follow that.” Armstrong said Chychrun still wants to play for a Stanley Cup contender: “We said we would look at that (and we would) try and help him out. And if the assets on the other side were there, we would definitely make the trade. That hasn’t come of yet. Doesn’t mean it won’t come.” — Russo, Jan. 3

It’s not 100 percent that Kane wants to move, although it’s more likely than with his longtime teammate Jonathan Toews. Agent Pat Brisson, reached by phone last week, said he would chat with both players in the “next three weeks” to get a sense of what they want to do at the deadline. Kane controls his own destiny with a full no-trade clause, and Brisson said he didn’t think an extension with the acquiring team would be part of trade negotiations, though he also didn’t rule it out. This could play out similarly to how the deadline did with another of Brisson’s clients, Claude Giroux, last season, with Brisson surveying the market and potentially providing a limited number of suitors Kane favors. The Rangers have always made the most sense — and were the prediction in recent Athletic staff voting. The Blueshirts need to look the contender part to attract Kane and have played better after a slow start. I think they will be attractive. But don’t discount Kane deciding he doesn’t want to be traded, either. That’s his option. — LeBrun, Jan. 3

The key with Meier is the structure of his contract. He carries a $6 million cap charge in the final year of a four-year contract, after which he becomes a restricted free agent. But because Year 4 of the contract is paying Meier $10 million in actual cash, that’s the number the Sharks would have to issue him in a qualifying offer. Tricky because with apologies to Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture, he is arguably the Sharks’ best forward and would play top-six minutes for any contender. With salary retention, it’s a contract that most of them could absorb, as well. But they may have to treat him as a short-term rental and not a long-term solution. — Duhatschek, Dec. 15

5. Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks

Toews himself said in the offseason that he had little to no trade value if he wasn’t playing at a high level, yet here we are in mid-December and Toews has been one of Chicago’s best performers. He can still skate, still score, still win big draws and, as we all know, is as competitive as heck. So would his first-quarter play entice teams with playoff aspirations in desperate need of a center? You betcha. Toews made clear in the summer that a rebuild wasn’t all that appealing to him, so if a contender comes calling, one expects that he’d waive his no-move despite the fact that he has played, by all accounts, with a great attitude. — Michael Russo, Dec. 15

6. John Klingberg, Ducks

The big news here is that Jan. 1 is past, so Klingberg’s full no-trade clause has been modified to one that’s limited to 10 teams. But with four goals, 11 points and a minus-22 rating in his first 30 games, plus a history of injuries, who are the buyers here? Klingberg still may be a good bet at the deadline for a team that needs an offensive-minded, right-shot blueliner, but they’d better hope he is reinvigorated because his career has taken a downturn. Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek watched the Oilers play in Minnesota and Nashville on Dec. 12 and 13, and there has been chatter that the Oilers could have interest in Klingberg, even though they seem to have more of a need at left D. — Russo, Jan. 3

The plan coming into the season was for the Blues and their pending-unrestricted-free-agent captain to talk extension in January. And agent Pat Morris confirmed last week there was “Nothing new to report,” as of then. That was before the Blues announced Monday that O’Reilly was going on injured reserve with a broken foot and will be re-evaluated in six weeks. General manager Doug Armstrong told The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford it doesn’t really change his approach, though: “Not really because we talk and we work behind the scenes every day. … We have to want the players other teams are trading, and vice-versa; they have to want what we’re considering trading. Our record will dictate what we do at those times.” If O’Reilly returns and is able to show he’s healthy and productive, there should still be a market. He doesn’t have no-trade protection and was the 2019 playoff MVP. I think the Maple Leafs had talked about him internally, prior to the injury. Like with Horvat, the Avalanche would make sense. Any contender could. — LeBrun, Jan. 3

8. Vladimir Tarasenko, Blues

Tarasenko had 29 points in 34 games before getting injured in a New Year’s Eve game by blocking a Matt Dumba shot on his hand. He will be re-evaluated in four weeks, which is not the same as saying he’ll be ready to play in four weeks. That means no trade is imminent. On the other hand, if Tarasenko’s absence, along with Ryan O’Reilly’s and Torey Krug’s, cause the Blues to fall out of playoff contention in the next two months — and assuming he gets back playing by the end of February — he could be a valuable, 11th-hour rental, a proven scorer, from a recent Stanley Cup championship team. Even in the years when the Blues were a playoff contender, GM Doug Armstrong wasn’t afraid to make a bold statement. Tarasenko’s original trade request came more than a year ago; but now that his eight-year, $60 million contract is down to its final months, he’ll be easier to move. — Duhatschek, Jan. 3

With Zach Werenski out for the season, no one is playing more in Columbus than Gavrikov (above 22 minutes per night), and through the first third of the season, he was a rare plus player on a team full of minuses. He is 27, a pending unrestricted free agent, earning $2.8 million and in line for a significant payday. Remember how, back in 2021, the Blue Jackets creatively traded David Savard to Tampa Bay via Detroit in a complicated deal that netted them a first-rounder? If they were to move on from Gavrikov, he could net a similar package. — Duhatschek, Dec. 15

10. Brock Boeser, Canucks

Teams are showing interest because of the talent, but taking the cap hit full-on is a turnoff: two more seasons left after this one, with a $6.65 million average annual. The fact the Canucks have allowed Boeser’s agent, Ben Hankinson, to seek potential trade partners directly underlines management’s recognition that it won’t be easy to move that kind of money. The obvious team to single out here is Boeser’s native Minnesota Wild, and yes, the Wild have talked about Boeser, for sure. But the cap hit, again, is a huge issue. The Canucks have to clear max cap space in any Boeser trade; it just doesn’t feel like salary retention is an option here. Taking a contract back as part of the deal, sure. But I don’t think salary retention on Boeser is something Vancouver wants to do. That’s why I think this process will play out for a while. — LeBrun, Dec. 15

11. Matt Dumba, Wild

Traded or not, this is probably the end of the erratic defenseman’s run in Minnesota. The 2012 first-round pick once looked like he would be as good an offensive sharpshooter as there was in the NHL — until he got into a fight with Matthew Tkachuk in December 2018 and tore his pectoral muscle into smithereens. He hasn’t been the same since, yet he has survived two expansion drafts, years of trade rumors and, without a doubt, several attempts by the Wild to trade him. Even if he were willing to take a significant paycut to stay, the Wild will move on this offseason because of their perceived blue-line depth among prospects. They have playoff aspirations but may still be willing to trade Dumba in a lateral move. — Russo, Dec. 15

If you’re looking for an offensive-minded defenseman and power-play quarterback on the cheap, Ghost may be your man. The Coyotes usually trade their pending free agents, and while Gostisbehere may not be the most defensively sound, he’s still a puck-mover who can help a team get up the ice and into the offensive zone. Plus, an acquiring team would owe him only a prorated portion of his $1 million salary from a real-cash standpoint while his cap hit stands at $4.5 million barring potential salary and cap retention. — Russo, Dec. 15

If Verbeek was looking at Puljujarvi during his recent trips to Minnesota and Nashville — the Ducks could use size and skill on the right side — he saw two pedestrian efforts from the Oilers’ lightning rod. No points, one shot and two hits over the two games, with only 10 1/2 minutes of ice time each night. The 24-year-old No. 4 draft pick desperately could use a change of scenery, but interested parties might be scared off by Puljujarvi’s recent comments to Finnish journalist Tommi Seppala, in which he called his production “sad” and questioned whether he just doesn’t have it to play in the NHL. Most players would crave playing with the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but Puljujarvi has seemed to crater under the pressure. — Russo, Dec. 15

The Panthers don’t want to trade him, but they’ve been walking a salary cap tightrope all season. They’re in such a bind, they put Patric Hornqvist on long-term injured reserve the day after he sustained a concussion to free up cap space for recalls. Hornqvist was practicing again several games before being eligible to come off LTIR, although he reportedly has since suffered a setback. Teams are paying close attention to this situation because Duclair can supply scoring and speed to any team in need of it. And general manager Bill Zito may be forced to trade Duclair if he doesn’t figure out a way to clear cap space before his return from a torn Achilles’ tendon. That’s not expected to be closer to All-Star weekend. Duclair is appealing because he has one more year left on an affordable deal. — Russo, Dec. 15

The Flyers are going nowhere, meaning JvR’s going somewhere. In the last year of his contract, he just returned to Philly’s lineup and almost immediately put up a four-point game in Arizona. If he continues to produce in the new year, he could move up our board because he’s a guy who gets to the net and knows how to pot goals. He shouldn’t be expensive, either — think a mid- to late-round pick, even though he’s at a point per game in short spurts. If he continues to produce, general manager Chuck Fletcher can perhaps up the ante for a forward who can assist any team’s power play. — Russo, Dec. 15

One of the nice comeback stories of the season, Monahan has been playing reliable five-on-five minutes and averaging better than 55 percent in the faceoff circle for the Canadiens after landing in Montreal as a part of a Flames salary-cap dump. He’s been valuable enough that the Canadiens could still look to re-sign him. They received a first-rounder for taking on his contract, and if the decision is to move him, they’ll be seeking a further high draft choice from any team that wants to add center-ice depth for the playoff run. — Duhatschek, Dec. 15

Athanasiou’s NHL stops included Edmonton and Los Angeles before he landed in Chicago, where the opportunity to play more than 16 minutes per night hasn’t turned him into an offensive scourge. Any teams looking at him will weigh his size (6-foot-2) and his breakaway speed against his defensive inconsistencies and then have to make a decision. — Duhatschek, Dec. 15

The Canadiens have had a little cottage industry these past few years of sending defensemen out the door to teams looking for blue-line help — Ben Chiarot to Florida and Brett Kulak to Edmonton last year — and they could do the same with Edmundson, who has this season and next left on his contract at $3.5 million per. Edmundson played 22 games in the Blues’ 2019 run to the Cup and 22 again in Montreal’s 2021 run to the final. At age 29, on a reasonable contract, he’d have some value. — Duhatschek, Dec. 15

On a bad Sharks team that hemorrhages goals, Reimer had a .911 save percentage and had saved nearly four goals more than expected through mid-November. He hit the skids a bit after that, then got hurt, but he’s back now, and the Sharks will be looking for him to get back to form in hopes of getting an asset for him. Come trade deadline time, if a team needs a goalie, he is a proven performer who wouldn’t be overcome by the pressure of the playoffs. — Russo, Dec. 15

Nyquist missed the entire 2020-21 season recovering from major shoulder surgery, but he played all 82 games last year and scored 53 points, and he’s played all 35 games in 2022-23. So the injury issue should be settled. He is a versatile, experienced forward who can play both the left and right side. He has modest scoring totals — 18 points, all at even strength, so far — but has been almost a point-a-game player in the last couple of weeks. He’s on a hefty deal — $5.5 million average annual value — but it expires after this year. In the years he’s been a seller, GM Jarmo Kekalainen has been able to extract great value for his rentals. — Duhatschek, Jan. 3

Anaheim is Kulikov’s fifth team in four years, but he’s a sturdy (6-foot-1, 201 pounds), experienced stay-at-home defender, who is third in time on ice for the Ducks. In short, he’s just the sort of depth player who just about any contender could use. His cap charge is a reasonable $2.2 million, and he has a limited no-trade clause. Verbeek was shipping out everything that moved at last season’s deadline. There’s no reason to think he won’t do the same this year, given how poorly Anaheim has played. — Duhatschek, Dec. 15

Domi has been a hockey vagabond, playing for three teams in the past three years. As a rental (from Columbus to Carolina last year), he produced modest results — six points in 14 playoff games. He signed a one-year, $3 million prove-it contract with the Blackhawks, where he’s had a chance to play top-line minutes with Patrick Kane and has been a good fit overall, leading to suggestions the Blackhawks could even sign him to an extension rather than dangling him as trade bait. The reality is, though: If the Blackhawks get an attractive offer for Domi, they would almost certainly move him as a rental, because there is nothing to prevent them from signing him to a new contract next July, as a UFA. The Blackhawks are in the asset-accumulation stage of their rebuild. Nothing, even a pleasant surprise such as Domi, is likely to trump that main, overriding directive. — Duhatschek, Jan. 3

The Senators have been one of the league’s biggest disappointments after what many deemed a terrific offseason. One of the moves during that offseason was acquiring Talbot, who wasn’t pleased after being sidelined by the Wild in the playoffs in favor of Marc-Andre Fleury until a must-win Game 6 — after he’d reeled off a career-best 15-game point streak to end the regular season. With Ottawa well on the outside looking in, if a team is in trouble from a goalie standpoint, Talbot makes perfect sense. He’s an actual No. 1 who two years ago was solid for the Wild during a first-round exit against Vegas. — Russo, Dec. 15

His agent, Ben Hankinson, created a firestorm recently when he tweeted a CanucksArmy.com article pumping up the value of his client and wrote, “Luke Schenn…perfect deadline acquisition.” Canucks Twitter figured that was Schenn’s agent’s way of saying Schenn wanted out in advance of the deadline. Hankinson and Schenn have both since walked it back, but regardless, the rugged defensive defenseman and two-time Stanley Cup champ would be appealing to a team that needs to bulk up on the back end or add depth. — Russo, Dec. 15

Ritchie sat out a few games as a healthy scratch earlier in the season, reinforcing the view that for all the things he can bring to the mix — size, physical play, decent hands — he remains too inconsistent for many coaches. Even on a team as thin as Arizona is up front, he’s averaging fewer than 14 minutes per night. But he has shown an ability to produce as a net-front presence on the power play; through the start of the new year, nine of his 16 points have come with the man advantage. — Eric Duhatschek, Jan. 3

The Athletic’s NHL trade board at a glance

(Editor’s note: This is not an exhaustive list of players who could be traded before the deadline. These are the players we’re hearing the most buzz about right now.)

Player Team Pos. Age Contract

1

Canucks

C

27

2023 UFA

2

Coyotes

LD

24

2025 UFA

3

Blackhawks

RW

34

2023 UFA

4

Sharks

LW

26

2023 RFA

5

Blackhawks

C

34

2023 UFA

6

Ducks

RD

30

2023 UFA

7

Blues

C

31

2023 UFA

8

Blues

RW

31

2023 UFA

9

Blue Jackets

LD

27

2023 UFA

10

Canucks

RW

25

2025 UFA

11

Wild

RD

28

2023 UFA

12

Coyotes

RD

29

2023 UFA

13

Oilers

RW

24

2023 RFA

14

Panthers

RW

27

2024 UFA

15

Flyers

LW

33

2023 UFA

16

Canadiens

C

28

2023 UFA

17

Blackhawks

LW

28

2023 UFA

18

Canadiens

LD

29

2024 UFA

19

Sharks

G

34

2023 UFA

20

Blue Jackets

LW

33

2023 UFA

21

Ducks

RD

32

2023 UFA

22

Blackhawks

C

27

2023 UFA

23

Senators

G

35

2023 UFA

24

Canucks

RD

33

2023 UFA

25

Coyotes

LW

27

2023 UFA

No longer ranked: Jack Roslovic, Alex Goligoski.

(Top photo of Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko: Rick Ulreich / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)