The San Jose Sharks selected a player named Will Smith in the first round of the 2023 NHL draft Wednesday. As he walked up to the stage and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme started blasting, the lack of free-agency chatter that is usually buzzing at that point in the draft felt more like the iconic last scene from the show.

I mean, we got nothing. Nothing!

Granted, a few big deals happened in the days leading up to the event, like Taylor Hall and Tyler Toffoli, but usually, we get some draft-night trades. It was the first draft since 2007 there were no trades made in the first round. Lame. Day 2 had a little more action with Josh Bailey getting traded (and then bought out) and Corey Perry being traded as an unrestricted free agent to Chicago, but the biggest candidates to be dealt stayed put.

Whatever the reason, some of the most enticing trade targets are still very much on the board as free agency approaches. With free agency being less than stellar, the trade market is where the real excitement is and we're here to break it down.


5. The Calgary Flames Firesale

The Flames' roster may look unrecognizable on the opening night of the 2023-24 season, which is pretty funny because that's a lot like what happened on the opening night of the 2022-23 season. Last year, though, that was fun and optimistic. This year, it is scary.

There have been rumblings around the Flames since their season went south and they missed the playoffs. Now, those rumblings include many pending free agents in a year's time wanting out. The first domino fell during the draft week with Tyler Toffoli to the Devils, and it looks like Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm and Mikael Backlund are players that could follow him out.

Teams like Boston, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Florida are reportedly interested in Hanifin, who could yield a decent return as a 26-year-old middle-ish pairing defenseman with a $4.95 million cap hit. Even at 34, Backlund is still a solid two-way player, but the $5.35 million cap hit might be a tad too much of an ask for a contending team looking to add depth. Then you've got Lindholm who would be a fantastic second- (or first!-) line center on a contender with an agreeable $4.85 million cap hit.

Rebuilds are never pretty, but this is one that might get messy really quickly.