2024 NHL Trade Deadline: The five buyer teams with the best prospect assets

      From draft picks to top prospects, these five teams could move future assets to help them win now.

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      With less than two months until the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline March 8, we’re delivering at least one deadline-focused story every day at Daily Faceoff.

      Today, we check in on which potential buyer teams have the best young assets to dangle in offers.

      2024 NHL Trade Deadline Countdown: 26 days

      The NHL trade deadline is where mistakes are made.

      The fight to get one of the top deadline pieces can drive teams to make some insanely bad long-term decisions. So you’ve got to be careful chasing a rental, because the price rarely makes sense. If you win a Stanley Cup, it’s worth it. If you don’t and you mortgaged your future for a few extra playoff games, that’s a tough pill to swallow.

      Today, we’re looking at five contenders with a chance to utilize their prospect pools to bolster their talent ahead of the March 8 deadline. To be honest, there aren’t many high-profile clubs with deep pools to work with, and two of the more interesting teams with assets to blow happen to be bottom-feeders.

      Enter: Arizona and Chicago. The Coyotes have 10 second-round picks over the next three years and it seems highly unlikely they’ll keep them all. The Blackhawks have four first-rounders between 2024 and 2025, and while they wouldn’t trade their own first pick this year (Macklin Celebrini, baby), they’ve got the chance to pounce early and snag some useful top-six talent for the future. It’s great having such an expansive pipeline with more high picks on the way, but, eventually, you have to start turning those into immediate help.

      While neither has to make a move in the short term, could you imagine if one of the biggest names on the market ended up heading there instead? Chaos, baby.

      But really, we care more about the legitimate contenders and what they have to offer. Here’s a look at five teams that could use future assets to their benefit this year:

      1. Winnipeg Jets

      Possibly available: Brad Lambert (C, 20), Colby Barlow (LW, 18), Nikita Chibrikov (RW, 20), Ville Heinola, D (22), 2024 first and second-round picks

      As everyone’s been saying all year: kudos to GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and coach Rick Bowness for turning a team that seemed ready to blow things up into a favorite to win the Stanley Cup. If you bet on the Jets being a top-10 team past the NHL All-Star break, you’d be one mighty rich fella.

      Right now, though, things are looking bleak. And if they don’t want to totally waste all the early season success, they’ve got to do something soon.

      The Jets find themselves in win-now territory again. Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck both have eight-year deals, Josh Morrissey is signed until 2028 and Kyle Connor has another two years to go. This team means business, especially after acquiring Sean Monahan from the Montreal Canadiens earlier this month.

      The Jets have done an excellent job of finding value at the draft table, and it could play out to their benefit here. They typically draft in the bottom half of the first round each year, but they’ve snagged some solid offensive prospects such as Brad Lambert, Nikita Chibrikov and Colby Barlow, among others.

      Forward Rutger McGroarty and defenseman Elias Salomonsson are likely untouchable as the best prospects at their respective positions. Everyone else? Fair game. They’d want to hang on to as many as possible, especially with Chibrikov and Lambert producing so well in Manitoba, but the Jets should look to go all-in this year. The Jets don’t have an exceptional prospect pool by any means, but they’re doing well for a team that has only selected in the top 15 twice over the past seven years. If it’s what it takes to stand out, you’ve got to bite the bullet.

      2. New Jersey Devils

      Potentially available: Seamus Casey (D, 19), Graeme Clarke (RW, 22), Ethan Edwards (D, 21), 2024, 2025 and 2026 first-round picks

      The Devils have two potentially fatal flaws this year: poor goaltending and a lack of defensive depth. Last year, they made it clear they think they’ve got what it takes to go the distance, sending some key prospect assets to San Jose to acquire Timo Meier – and the results have been mixed.

      But when you make a move like that, you’ve got to keep going all in. The Devils have each of their first-round picks for the next three years, although trading this year’s pick gives them just one selection in the first four rounds. Ideally, they’d move one of their first four picks in 2025 and 2026, but it seems unlikely they’ll pass March 8 without moving at least one of them.

      As for prospects, the big draw here would be Casey. The 20-year-old defenseman is undersized at 5-foot-9, but he has a penchant for putting opponents through the boards. He’s creative, dynamic and is as good of a two-way threat as you’ll find in college. The Devils need immediate defensive help, and with Luke Hughes and Simon Nemec also providing offensive help from the point, that makes Casey expendable. I’d argue just about everyone else should be available, too, but Casey is the one who could help them get the big piece they need.

      3. Detroit Red Wings

      Possibly available: William Wallinder (D, 21), Elmer Soderblom (LW, 22), Carter Mazur (LW, 21), Jonatan Berggren (RW, 23), either Trey Augustine or Sebastian Cossa (G), 2024 first-round pick

      Look, I don’t think the Red Wings should part with any of their top prospects here. But if they felt it was necessary to take the next step forward, they’ve got the capital to make it work. Marco Kasper is starting to figure things out in Grand Rapids, Nate Danielson is having a good year in the WHL and Simon Edvinsson still seems like a future top-pairing defender.

      Beyond that, there are enough expendable pieces. Berggren’s name has been floated in trade rumors for most of the season, especially since there doesn’t seem to be a proper fit for him in Detroit. Soderblom, a 6-foot-8 behemoth, has NHL experience, but has spent the entire season in the AHL. He has some offensive instincts, but he’s a bottom-six forward at best in the NHL. Mazur would be a nice depth scoring piece to keep around, but if the Wings don’t want to dangle Kasper, Mazur’s a good second option.

      The most interesting proposition could be in net. Augustine is a high-profile prospect, coming off leading the United States to gold at the World Junior Championship. He’s a college freshman with no rush to make him turn pro, especially with Cossa in waiting. But could the Red Wings include one of them in a blockbuster trade? You can never have enough good goaltending prospects, especially with two of them having different pro timelines, but that could make things spicy.

      The Red Wings have to figure out what they want to be now, and what they think they’re going to be next year. They don’t have a deep prospect pool, but they’ve got some attractive pieces if they think they can get some more long-term help instead of just banking on a rental.

      4. Dallas Stars

      Possibly available: Logan Stankoven (C, 20), Mavrik Bourque (C, 22), Lian Bichsel (D, 19), Aram Minnetian (D, 18), Christian Kyrou (D, 20), 2024 first-round pick

      How aggressive do the Stars want to be this year? Because if they think burning the farm to go all-in this year is the way to go, it’s manageable. Moving on from Stankoven would be a bummer, but he’s the team’s most valuable asset. Bourque should challenge for an NHL spot next year after another great year in Texas, potentially in a middle-six spot. Bichsel has had a difficult season, and many scouts think his stock has dropped a bit, but if a team comes calling, GM Jim Nill could be tempted if it means getting immediate depth.

      The Stars are in a tight battle for first in the Western Conference, but Vancouver and Winnipeg – two top teams – have already made significant moves in recent weeks. They’re dealing with around $420,000 in projected cap space, according to Capfriendly, so any moves will be difficult. But adding a prospect in as a sweetener could go a long way.

      5. Edmonton Oilers

      Possibly available: Dylan Holloway (C, 22), Xavier Bourgault (LW, 21), Philip Broberg (D, 22), Matt Copponi (C, 20), 2024 first and second-round picks

      What a roller coaster of a season for the Oilers. But after emerging as the best team in the league since making the coaching change, the Oilers are among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup.

      But there’s still work to be done. Could they still look to add some goaltending depth? What about adding an extra scoring winger or another center to the mix? The Oilers need to be going all-in, and their prospect pool – near the bottom of the NHL – could help make that happen.

      Holloway is one the Oilers shouldn’t move on from, but he easily has the best trade value of anyone in the Oilers’ system. Two wrist surgeries have limited his NHL game action, but there’s an argument to be made that he has top-six potential and could maybe register 50 points a season – most likely as a winger. But, again, there isn’t a more valuable prospect in Edmonton’s system, and that could make him attractive.

      Broberg is the most likely player to be traded. The 22-year-old Swede is a talented two-way defenseman with a big 6-foot-3 frame and great AHL results. But he hasn’t figured how to stay relevant in the NHL, bouncing between the two leagues over the past three seasons. Defensively, Broberg’s game has seen some improvement over time, but he’s expendable for the Oilers.

      Other notables: Toronto Maple Leafs (2024 first-round pick, Easton Cowan, Fraser Minten), Los Angeles Kings (2024 and 2025 first-round pick, Alex Turcotte), Vancouver Canucks (2025 and 2026 first-round picks, Vasily Podkolzin, Aatu Raty)


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