The focus of hockey fans and pundits during the annual NHL draft is on where the world's most promising young prospects will end up.
With the general managers of all 32 teams in the same location, though, it's also a time when trades involving established talent can take place.
Several deals involving NHL players took place during the 2022 draft in Montreal. Among the notables on the move were Alexander Romanov from the Montreal Canadiens to the New York Islanders followed by the Canadiens acquiring Kirby Dach from Chicago.
With this year's draft approaching on June 28-29 in Nashville, Tennessee, several noteworthy names are floating around in the rumor mill.
For the second straight year, Ottawa Senators winger Alex DeBrincat could be on the move, while San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has been the topic of speculation throughout this season.
Here's a look at the five biggest NHL stars who could be on the move during the 2023 draft. We'll examine the reasons why they might be shopped and the potential destinations. You can express your thoughts on this topic in the comments section below.
Alex DeBrincat, Ottawa Senators
On the eve of the first round of the 2022 draft, Alex DeBrincat was traded by the Chicago Blackhawks to the Ottawa Senators.
A restricted free agent who's a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility, the winger seemed reluctant about signing a long-term extension with the Senators during his end-of-season press conference in April.
On Wednesday, TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported DeBrincat's agent presented Senators management with a list of preferred trade destinations. If they decide to move him, they could maximize their return if any of the teams on his list are willing to sign the 25-year-old to a contract extension as part of the trade.
DeBrincat earned an average annual value of $6.4 million on his current contract. In actual salary, however, he earned $9 million in 2022-23, meaning it will cost the Senators (or another club) that much to qualify his rights for 2023-24 unless he agrees to a new deal before July 1.
On April 24, we listed the Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Detroit Red Wings, New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins as potential destinations for DeBrincat.
Those five clubs have a need to boost their scoring. The Senators could seek an affordable young forward or right-shot defenseman along with one or two draft picks and a quality prospect in return.