The NHL trade rumor market has picked up steam recently with two players being added to the trade bait board. San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane and Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk are the two latest names on the trade market.
These new additions have overshadowed other players on the NHL trade market such as Dylan Strome, Vladamir Tarasenko, and Vitali Kravtsov who all still remain untraded. The Golden Knights, of course, made the biggest trade of them all this season acquiring Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres. But the team will likely have to make another move to free up some cap space when Eichel comes back.
It may take some time before we see any NHL trades as we are three months away from the NHL trade deadline. But when can we expect these players to be traded? More importantly, are the Golden Knights interested in any of these names on the NHL trade market?
The player that we can shut down immediately in any trade rumors linked to the Golden Knights is Evander Kane. Kane is currently playing with the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL and was on waivers this week in which no team claimed him.
It is not worth the risk of bringing in what many people consider to be a locker room cancer to the organization. As a former San Jose Shark, Kane has a bit of a rivalry against the Golden Knights and for Kelly McCrimmon to bring in Kane would likely mean a rift between the team and the fanbase.
Managing Kane’s cap space would be a nightmare as well as Kane makes $7 million AAV. The Golden Knights are already projected to be over the NHL salary cap when Eichel and William Karlsson return from injury.
However, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has reported that the Sharks are open to retaining salary in a potential Kane trade. But it is still a long shot that he ends up as a Golden Knight. Kane is currently linked to the Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, and Carolina Hurricanes.
Another player that we can all but rule out is Vladimir Tarasenko, who requested a trade from the St. Louis Blues over the summer. The current frontrunner for Tarasenko is actually the Blues themselves. Tarasenko has 19 points in 22 games this season and as a result, his name has died down in NHL trade rumors.
Similar to Kane, managing Tarasenko’s cap would be a chore for the Golden Knights as he also carries a cap-hit of $7 million AAV. Unlike Kane, the Golden Knights would have to give up a good deal to acquire Tarasenko. Digging back into the prospect cupboard sounds like a bad idea for McCrimmon and the Golden Knights after already trading so many picks and prospects to acquire guys like Eichel and Mark Stone.
A bit of a wildcard, Vitali Kravtsov is a prospect for the New York Rangers that has requested a trade. He has since been loaned to Traktor Chelyabinsk in the KHL for the remainder of the 2021-22 season. On November 3, Rangers general manager Chris Drury was quoted as saying that he wants Kravtsov to be “a New York Ranger.”
However, if this relationship falls through and Kravtsov still wants a trade, he will once again be back on the NHL trade block. The Golden Knights prospect pool could always use some additional juice and Kravstov fits the bill. The former ninth overall pick from the 2018 NHL Entry Level draft has twenty NHL games of experience under his belt and four points.
It is unknown the asking price for Kravtsov but as a project player, it shouldn’t be anything too wild. If the asking price is low, I think the Golden Knights should at least consider giving the Rangers a call of Kravtsov if he is still available. This would have to wait until the offseason though as Kravtsov is committed to the KHL for the remainder of this season.
A former first-round pick, DeBrusk is a 25-year old Canadian NHL forward who is on his way out of Boston. Both DeBrusk and general manager Don Sweeney have come to an agreement on mutually parting ways to give DeBrusk a fresh start.
Cap issues are still there, but DeBrusk is signed to a more reasonable cap hit of $3.6 million. The Golden Knights would likely have to ship out some salary by sending someone like William Carrier or Evgenii Dadonov the other way.
It is unlikely that the Golden Knights have anything that the Bruins are particularly interested in. The Bruins will likely look elsewhere for a new home for DeBrusk. But if a deal falls through and McCrimmon is interested, there could be talks between the Golden Knights and Bruins regarding DeBrusk.
The Golden Knights are currently decimated with injuries at the center position and Dylan Strome could be an option for them as a result. With Karlsson and new addition Eichel out, the team has relied on Chandler Stephenson and Nicolas Roy as top-two centers.
It is no secret that the Blackhawks have been trying to trade Strome as they have constantly been making him a healthy scratch in the lineup. Strome only has one year left on his contract that pays him $3 million AAV. Similar to DeBrusk the team will likely have to send a player such as Dadonov, Carrier, or Mattias Janmark to balance out the cap.
With the Blackhawks being in the limbo state that they are in, I could see them taking on the contract of a veteran player like Dadonov or bringing back Janmark. These two teams have a recent trade history that has featured some cap-space-themed trades as well.
When the Golden Knights get fully healthy there is still a spot on the lineup for Strome as he can play the wing as well.
It will take more than one of Janmark, Carrier, and Dadonov to suffice the Blackhawk’s needs on former third-overall pick Strome. But if McCrimmon wants to add some forward depth with a young player looking for a change of scenery, former Erie Otter Dylan Strome is the perfect option.
For now, the focus on the Golden Knights will be managing their roster once players come back from injury. As stated before, the team will be over the NHL salary cap once Jack Eichel and William Karlsson are removed from LTIR. I wouldn’t use the word “sell” but the Golden Knights are certainly in a position to “shed” some of their NHL contracts so that they can get both Eichel and Karlsson.