NHL Trade Deadline: Updated Avalanche Trade Board; Who is Left?
The NHL trade deadline is a little over a week away. Our first trade board was published less than two weeks ago.
And a lot has already changed.
Ryan O’Reilly, who I believe the Colorado Avalanche had targeted, was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he’s already excelling. Jonathan Toews, another guy the Avalanche have looked at, is not going to be traded. Adam Henrique left the most recent Ducks game with an injury. And Sean Monahan, who has been injured, has still not played a game since early December.
On top of that, the situation with the Avalanche has changed drastically. Erik Johnson’s season may be over. If the Avalanche choose to put him on Long-Term Injured Reserve, that really changes what they can pull off at the trade deadline. Gabriel Landeskog has started skating, but Cale Makar is now in concussion protocol for the second time in two weeks. Does defense suddenly become more of a priority than before?
Who knew so much could change in such a short period of time?
With all that, the Avalanche NHL trade board needed to be updated. Who is still left out there? And who has been added?
C Sean Monahan
Contract: $6,375,000 cap hit, unrestricted free agent in 2023
Well, the Avalanche have been linked to him before, but the reality is, he might not be coming back healthy this year. Head coach Martin St-Louis recently said that Monahan’s return from injury has hit a “plateau”. Some days he’s skating, some days he isn’t.
At this point, I’m not sure he’s an option. Or at least one that you can depend on.
C Adam Henrique
Contract: $5,825,000 million cap hit, unrestricted free agent in 2024.
Adam Henrique: underrated. Would be an interesting pickup for somebody, especially with retention. pic.twitter.com/byd0r8McU8
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) February 9, 2023
Henrique would be a great fit for the Avalanche. He’s having a strong year, and he is not someone you’d just be renting for the rest of the season. If you can get Anaheim to retain a little bit, you’re able to fit him into next years cap situation pretty easily.
The problem? He was injured in the Ducks game on Tuesday night. It’s too early to know what the prognosis is on the injury, but here’s a clip of what happened.
Not sure Adam Henrique took another shift after this tangle with Brandon Hagel with 8:13 to go in the second. Was able to get up on his own and skated off to the locker room.#FlyTogether pic.twitter.com/IQ7ZLL1vM2
— Derek Lee (@drockIee27) February 22, 2023
If Henrique is injured for a long period of time, does that take him off the market? There’s still a little over seven weeks left in the regular season. If it’s a 3-4 week injury, you still have time to get him into some games and get him acclimated. If it’s longer than that? A trade becomes less likely.
We’ll await word on what the injury is. He certainly appears to be one of the better options out there, assuming he’s healthy.
W Patrick Kane
Contract: $10,500,000 million cap hit, unrestricted free agent in 2023.
Toews out. Kane in?
The center market is dwindling. Erik Johnson’s injury has major ramifications on what the Avalanche could do at the trade deadline, in terms of available cap space. Do you look find a winger and insulate J.T. Compher and Alex Newhook as much as possible?
Kane really has not had his best season. He’s been rumored to be dealing with a nasty hip injury that has slowed him considerably. But as trade rumors around him began to swirl more over the last week, he’s started to heat up. He has seven points in his last three games, including five goals.
No one really seems to know what Kane wants. Does he even want to be traded? With a no-movement clause, he ultimately will decide where he goes, assuming he actually wants to be traded. If the Avalanche really did want to make a splash, this would be it. But the Avalanche have not been one of the teams rumored to be after Kane.
Maybe the Johnson injury news changes that.
C/W Ivan Barbashev
Contract: $2,250,000 million cap hit, Unrestricted free agent in 2023.
The “other” St. Louis Blues forward.
After a career high season where he shot almost 24%, he has (predictably) taken a big step back. Maybe I’m in the minority on this one, but I find him to be underwhelming. Most teams might view him as a center, but his defensive metrics aren’t good, and he’s terrible in the face-off circle. His value comes in versatility.
Maybe as a middle six winger he’s okay, but anyone expecting a second line center out of Barbashev needs to lower their expectations a bit. I certainly would not give up a first round pick for him.
C/W Max Domi
Contract: $3,000,000 million cap hit, unrestricted free agent in 2023
Domi still exists if the Avalanche are looking to add some scoring punch at the NHL trade deadline. He’s having easily his most productive season in years, but he’s also playing a ton of minutes on a bad team. 21 of his 42 points have come on the powerplay, where he is averaging 3:17 of ice time a game. That just would not happen in Colorado.
As I mentioned last time, he is having his best season as a face-off man in the NHL by quite a bit. There are rumors that he seems to like it in Chicago, but they’re in a full on rebuild and would not hesitate to move him if the price was right.
C Boone Jenner
Contract: $3,750,000 million cap hit, signed through 2026
This still seems like a pipe dream, but I’ve moved him onto the list because of how popular he is with Avalanche fans.
Columbus has zero reason to move him at the NHL trade deadline. He’s on a great contract, he’s the captain of the team, and after signing Gaudreau in the summer, they’ll probably want to turn things around as quickly as possible. But if you’re the Avalanche, acquiring a cost controlled player like that would have a lot of benefits.
The problem? For Columbus to consider dealing him, the package would have to be good. Very good. They have no reason to trade him unless some team blows them away. Do the Avalanche even have the assets to pull something like that off?
W Lawson Crouse
Contract: $4,300,000 contract through 2027
This strikes me as a guy the Avalanche would find a way to target without people knowing. Apparently the Coyotes are taking calls on him, but the price likely won’t be cheap. It’s the same idea as Jenner. Why trade for a rental when you could go all out and bring in a player that will be here a while? The only difference (and it’s a big one) is that Crouse is a winger.
Last season was his first 20 goal year, and he’ll top it again this year, although a high shooting percentage has helped him. He’s mostly doing it at even strength, though, as he only has four powerplay points on the year.
If the Avalanche went down this route, they’d become a harder team to play against. Crouse is big, fast, and physical. The type of player Bednar would love to add to the lineup.
W Jakub Vrana
Contract: $5,250,000 million cap hit, unrestricted free agent in 2024.
This would be the ultimate swing for the fences. The Avalanche have not replaced the easy offense that Andre Burakovsky provided. Vrana would do exactly that, provided he’s still the same player he was a few years back.
It’s not without risk, though. Vrana has only played three NHL games this season after spending time in the NHL/NHLPA’s Player Assistance program. He’s also coming off a major knee injury.
Detroit is apparently thinking of buying him out this summer, so why wouldn’t they consider retaining a bit and trading him at the NHL trade deadline?
D Dmitry Kulikov
Contract: $2,250,00 million cap hit, unrestricted free agent in 2023.
Once Vladislav Gavrikov is eventually dealt, a lot of eyes will likely turn to Kulikov. With the Johnson injury news, and Makar now dealing with another head injury, Kulikov would be a solid add, and an upgrade on the depth the team has. He’s also a versatile player who can play both sides.
D Luke Schenn
Contract: $850k cap hit, unrestricted free agent in 2023
Vancouver has come to their senses and realized the right move is trading Schenn. The rumored ask is a third round pick, but everyone knows teams go crazy trying to add defensemen at the deadline, so it might cost more. If Johnson truly is done for the season, Schenn would round out the defense nicely, and likely would be an upgrade.
D Jack Johnson
Contract: $950k cap hit, unrestricted free agent in 2023
Everyone knows Johnson in the organization. It wouldn’t be a sexy pickup, but purely a depth one. The thing is…has Andreas Englund kind of eliminated the need to get a guy like Johnson? I tend to think so.
D Nick Seeler
Contract: $775 cap hit, unrestricted free agent in 2024.
Physical and tough to play against. A lot of teams are likely to target him because of his cheap contract. A third pairing defenseman signed into next season at well under $1 million is hard to find. He’d be a solid fit for the Avalanche, but have a feeling if he is dealt, the price tag will be higher than people think.
Other Names to Look At
C Jack Roslovic – There are murmurs that Columbus may look to move him. Does that mean it happens at the NHL trade deadline? I don’t know. He’s signed for another year at $4M per season. Roslovic is shooting an absurdly low 5.3%, but he also just doesn’t shoot the puck. In his last 11 games, he’s only registered five shots on goal. That’s rough. A move like this would be banking on his skillset just being a fit. Kind of a risky thing to bank on at the deadline.
W Jesse Puljujarvi – As I’ve discussed before, I think this is an off-season move…if he gets there. He might even hit waivers by the time the NHL trade deadline gets here. He’s a reclamation project if there ever was one.
C Nick Bonino – Darren Helm continues to skate on his own, but until he hits the lineup again, I’m not sure you can count on him. Bonino has a winning pedigree and probably would come cheap as a depth pickup.