The NHL’s 2019 trade deadline is fast approaching, and rumors are swirling over which players could be on the move and where they could end up.
As per usual at this time of year, most of the speculated trade candidates are slated to become unrestricted free agents in July. Among them are several noteworthy players likely to be highly prized by postseason contenders, including Senators forward Matt Duchene and the pair of Blue Jackets teammates Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky.
Here’s our list of the 10 players most likely switching jerseys by the NHL trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 25.
10. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Columbus Blue Jackets
The two-time Vezina Trophy winner is struggling through his contract year, likely due to his ongoing unhappiness in Columbus. Nevertheless, he could attract interest from clubs looking to upgrade in goal. While most teams can wait to pursue Bobrovsky in this summer’s free agent market, there’s talk the Panthers could try to acquire him before the trade deadline.
9. Cody Ceci, D, Ottawa Senators
Most of the focus is on the status of teammates Matt Duchene and Mark Stone, but Ceci has surfaced of late as a possible trade candidate. A mobile blueliner with a right-handed shot, the 25-year-old is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. The Oilers, Lightning and Canucks could be among his suitors.
8. Artemi Panarin, Columbus Blue Jackets
Panarin recently informed the Blue Jackets of his unwillingness to discuss a contract extension during the season.
As leading scorer, he’s vital to Columbus’ playoff hopes but the team risks losing him to free agency in July for nothing. It could take at least a promising young scorer, a first-round pick and a top prospect to pry Panarin away from the Jackets. The Avalanche, Islanders, Panthers, Predators and Sharks could attempt to land him before Feb. 25.
Is Artemi Panarin ready to be traded, if that’s what Jarmo Kekalainen & Co. decide to go?
“Yeah, yeah. I’m ready for everything, because I still enjoy and just play hockey. If Jarmo trade me, it’s get working. That’s it.” #CBJ
– Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) February 8, 2019
7. Micheal Ferland, LW, Carolina Hurricanes
Trade speculation surrounding the 26-year-old Ferland has cooled off. While Carolina is jockeying for a wild-card spot, it’s believed it doesn’t want to lose the winger for nothing via free agency July 1. There’s talk the Flames, who shipped Ferland to Carolina last summer, might try to reacquire him. Also rumored to be in the mix are the Canucks, Bruins and Maple Leafs.
6. Gustav Nyquist, RW, Detroit Red Wings
As the Wings continue to rebuild, it’s anticipated they’ll peddle several veterans for draft picks and prospects by the deadline. Having reached the 40-point plateau this season for the sixth time in his career, the 29-year-old Nyquist should prove tempting for teams in need of a scoring winger.
If he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause, the Avalanche, Hurricanes, Stars, Sharks and Jets might show some interest.
5. Kevin Hayes, C, New York Rangers
A big forward who can play all three offensive positions, the 6-5, 216-pound Hayes is on pace for a career-best 60 points this season.
While the Rangers would prefer re-signing the 26-year-old, the cost could exceed $6 million annually, turning him into potential trade bait before the deadline. The Avalanche, Jets and Stars could take an interest in Hayes.
4. Dougie Hamilton, D, Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina is deep on the blueline but needs scoring punch at forward. Hamilton, 25, could be their best trade chip to address that need. He’s also the only player on this list signed beyond this season. Teams seeking blueline depth, such as the Canucks, Oilers, Maple Leafs or Islanders might find Hamilton appealing.
3. Mats Zuccarello, RW, New York Rangers
Still in the midst of a rebuild, the Rangers are expected to dangle several pending UFA veterans like Zuccarello. A four-time 50-plus point producer, the 32-year-old winger stumbled through the first half of this season but his production has recently improved. Trade conjecture has tied him to the Flames, Stars, Penguins and Golden Knights.
TWO DOWN, ONE TO GO
Maple Leafs’ attention turns to re-signing Mitch Marner
2. Wayne Simmonds, RW, Philadelphia Flyers
Despite the Flyers’ recent surge into playoff contention in the Eastern Conference, the team is still expected to trade Simmonds before the deadline. The 30-year-old power forward hasn’t been the same since undergoing pelvic surgery last year. Still, his physical two-way style could prove enticing to clubs like the Avalanche, Bruins, Flames, Golden Knights, Lightning and Maple Leafs.
1. Matt Duchene, C, Ottawa Senators
The Senators are attempting to re-sign Duchene and Mark Stone with the latter sounding the keenest to staying in Ottawa. If the 27-year-old Duchene isn’t re-signed by mid-February, the Senators are expected to shop him for the best return. Teams seeking a skilled offensive center, such as the Bruins, Hurricanes and Jets could come calling.