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NHL Trade Talk: Forwards, Defensemen On Turkey Day Menu

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NHL Trade

With American Thanksgiving upon us, will the NHL trade market pick up?

For most NHL teams, this is the point in the season where they have a better grasp of who and what they are. The NHL trade rumor circuit is usually always churning but things tend to pick up in substance and action. With that in mind, National Hockey Now has been scouring the league, talking and texting with various NHL executives and pro scouts, and here are three forwards and three defensemen that appear to be popular names on the NHL trade block:

3 Potentially Available Forwards:

1.  Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks:

It’s hard to believe that the Vancouver Canucks would consider trading the player they took 23rd overall at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, but word on the street is Boeser’s name has been out there since the summer.

Amidst the Canucks tough start, vultures are circling.

Boeser has not only become a hot name on the NHL trade market but was rumored to be available at the NHL Draft and as the free-agent market took flight in late July. Boeser has four goals and four assists in 16 games this season but based on recent success, it’s hard to believe the Canucks would be entertaining trade offers for the 24-year-old.

He had 23 goals and 26 assists last season and has been the least of the problems for this franchise in disarray. Boeser is in the final year of a three-year contract that carried a $5.8 million cap hit and will be an RFA after the season.

2.  Ryan Strome, New York Rangers:

The New York Rangers have been shopping the 28-year-old Strome on the NHL trade market for a while now but there has been some chatter that he could actually get moved soon. Darren Dreger recently reported that the Rangers have been scouring the NHL trade market for a middle-six forward and it’s no secret Strome is there for a return.

Boston Hockey Now speculated if a Jake DeBrusk for Strome deal would make sense. The bottom line is, the unrestricted-free agent-to-be is available for the right price. Strome is finishing off a two-year contract that carries a $4.5 million cap hit.

3.  Phil Kessel, Arizona Coyotes:

Pittsburgh Penguins fans may take note of their former mercurial favorite. Kessel has a modified no-trade clause and a no-movement clause but numerous sources confirmed to the NHN that he is willing to waive everything for the right fit.

Could the Boston Bruins, the team that drafted Kessel fifth overall at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, be interested? There’s no telling from our sources that the Bruins are thinking of a reunion with the pending UFA and given the $6.8 million cap hit left, that’s highly unlikely unless the Arizona Coyotes are willing to retain salary. That’s likely the case with any interested team on Kessel, but the player and team want to move the 34-year-old Kessel so this is worth watching.

Defensemen

1.  Will Butcher, Buffalo Sabres:

Butcher, 26, came into the NHL in 2017 as the highest-rated NCAA free agent. With 44 points in his rookie season with the New Jersey Devils, the 2013 fifth-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche did not disappoint. Butcher had 30 points the next season but it’s been downhill since then. The former University of Denver defenseman is in the final year of a contract that carried a $3.7 million cap hit but is currently at $2.8 million for this season.

2.  Olli Maatta, Los Angeles Kings:

The second former Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup-winning player on the list, Maatta, 27, is in the final season of a six-year contract that carries a $4 million cap hit. The 22nd pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft was a steady offensive defenseman for the Penguins during their recent Cup runs in 2016 and 2017.

Maatta’s recent best was in 2017-18 when he registered 29 points.

3.  Brayden McNabb, Vegas Golden Knights:

The 31-year-old rearguard has two goals and four assists this season but at a  $2.5 million cap hit in his final season with the Knights, his experience and poise are garnering some attention.

The Golden Knights figure to be over the salary cap when Jack Eichel is ready to enter the lineup, perhaps in March. So, watch the Golden Knights on the NHL trade market.

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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William Mahoney

DeBrusk is suddenly playing better! I still say get Jack Eichel forget Kessel!

Rick W Murray

I’m not interested in Kessel he’s not the player he once was we need a top centre for Hall and throw in GOOD BIG rushing d while you’re at it

Robert Poissant

Try to get Ben Chiarot from Mtl.

miket

All in favor of bringing Kessel back. Proven playoff guy.

Rick W Murray

No thanks

[…] Read more @ bostonhockeynow.com […]

[…] Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy had Brock Boeser atop his list of three potentially available forwards. He claimed the 24-year-old Canucks winger was rumored to be on the market since the NHL draft in July. Boeser is earning an annual cap hit of $5.875 million and becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. […]

[…] Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy had Brock Boeser atop his list of three potentially available forwards. He claimed the 24-year-old Canucks winger was rumored to be on the market since the NHL draft in July. Boeser is earning an annual cap hit of $5.875 million and becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. […]

[…] Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy had Brock Boeser atop his list of three potentially available forwards. He claimed the 24-year-old Canucks winger was rumored to be on the market since the NHL draft in July. Boeser is earning an annual cap hit of $5.875 million and becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. […]

[…] Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy had Brock Boeser atop his list of three potentially available forwards. He claimed the 24-year-old Canucks winger was rumored to be on the market since the NHL draft in July. Boeser is earning an annual cap hit of $5.875 million and becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. […]

[…] Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy had Brock Boeser atop his list of three potentially available forwards. He claimed the 24-year-old Canucks winger was rumored to be on the market since the NHL draft in July. Boeser is earning an annual cap hit of $5.875 million and becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. […]

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