The 2023 NHL trade deadline is at 3 p.m. ET on March 3. Several notable stars who feature prominently in our January NHL Trade Block Big Board, such as Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat and Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun, could be playing with other clubs by then.
So far, there’s only been one trade since Dec. 19. That’s likely due to the high number of teams with limited salary-cap space.
As of Jan. 20, there are 23 carrying less than $4 million. Many of them are playoff contenders potentially waiting until the trade deadline approaches to accrue sufficient cap room in order to acquire the players they seek.
Activity in the trade market will resume at some point between now and March 3. Until then, fans and pundits are left to speculate where the best potential trade bait will end up.
We’ve decided to take a stab at it by making five bold predictions about what will happen to some noteworthy trade candidates by the deadline. Tell us what you think in the comments section below, and feel free to chime in with your own predictions.
New York Islanders Acquire Vladimir Tarasenko
New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello was shopping for scoring depth last summer. He reportedly looked into signing Johnny Gaudreau before the winger went to Columbus, was rumored to have talked with the Vancouver Canucks about J.T. Miller and had an interest in Nazem Kadri before the center signed with Calgary.
The Islanders are fighting to remain in playoff contention in the Eastern Conference. Sitting 24th overall with a 2.96 goals-per-game average, they need a top-line scorer. St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko seems like the best fit to skate alongside playmaking center Mathew Barzal. He is sidelined with an injured hand but should return to action in February.
Since 2013-14, the 31-year-old Tarasenko sits fourth among active right wingers with 254 goals, including six seasons with 30-plus. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent and carries a $7.5 million cap hit for this season. He also has a no-trade clause but could accept a deal to the Islanders.
The Islanders have $8.6 million in projected deadline cap space to take on the remainder of Tarasenko’s cap hit. They could request the Blues retain part of his cap hit in return for a high-end prospect or a first-round pick. They could also offer winger Anthony Beauvillier ($4.2 million cap hit through 2023-24) and either the prospect or draft pick.