Connect with us

Golden Knights Trade Talk

Golden Knights Trade Talk: Players to Watch for Forward Depth



As the current leaders of the Pacific Division, things are going well for the Vegas Golden Knights after missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season. But good teams always find ways to improve, and for the Golden Knights, a glaring area where they can do so is at forward.

Max Pacioretty, Evgenii Dadonov, and Mattias Janmark were all lost last offseason by the Golden Knights, and outside of Phil Kessel, VGK management has not done much to restock the team’s scoring depth.

With Chandler Stephenson up on the first line playing wing and Nicolas Roy hurt, the team’s bottom six could use some added depth. So here are six potential trade candidates general manager Kelly McCrimmon could go after before the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline.

Finding Cap Space

Before we go over our candidates, as always with the Golden Knights, we have to find out how they are going to make the room for another player. I think the most obvious answer is by moving out Laurent Brossoit’s $2.325 million cap hit to start.

With Logan Thompson and Adin Hill as a reliable goalie tandem so far, Brossoit was sent to the Henderson Silver Knights on a conditioning stint before he was waived and then sent back down.

Another option for added cap space would be to trade a defenseman, given the Golden Knight’s depth at the position. Ben Hutton, Kaedan Korczak, and Daniil Miromanov are salivating at a roster spot.

Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore are staying and based on recently-signed contract extensions, so are Nicolas Hague, Zach Whitecloud, and Brayden McNabb. So could Alec Martinez be on the move?

1) Bo Horvat- C

The Vancouver Canucks are in the midst of another lackluster season, and their captain Bo Horvat is in the final year of his contract. Said contract pays the 27-year-old $5.5 million per season. Horvat has been nothing but a consistent offensive producer to the Canucks in his nine years in the NHL.

The center has 20 points in 18 games this season and would presumably slot in as the team’s third-line center behind Jack Eichel and William Karlsson. A lot of teams have been linked to Horvat, given his stature as a big-league player.

The price tag, both in terms of trade bait and salary cap, might scare off the Golden Knights.

2) Mike Hoffman- W

With the Montreal Canadiens having an overabundance of forwards and the team not expected to be in the playoffs, they are in a good position to sell at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline. Among their forwards is Mike Hoffman, a reliable scorer at the NHL level, given his six 20-goal seasons in the league.

Hoffman has two years left on his deal at $4.5 million and is 32 years old. So trading for him would not make him a pure rental. Mark Stone and Hoffman had a couple of good years together in Ottawa.

3) Max Domi- W/C

If the Golden Knights are looking to add some muscle, Max Domi could be on their radar. The 27-year-old Western Canadian (which GM McCrimmon loves) has 12 points in 17 games this season with the Chicago Blackhawks. Domi has played for five different NHL franchises in eight seasons in the NHL.

The Blackhawks are another team that is expected to sell at the deadline. Knowing this, they signed Domi to just a one-year $3 million deal and will most likely flip him at the deadline.

4) Gustav Nyquist- W

A forgotten player, in my opinion, Gustav Nyquist has spent the last three seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The veteran winger had 53 points in 82 games last season at 32 years old. His cap hit is a bit high at $5.5 million, but it expires this offseason.

It is unknown if the Blue Jackets are going to be sellers or not at the trade deadline. But based on their 6-10-1 start, it might be better served if they were to sell off some of their players for assets.

5) Jesse Puljujarvi- W

The last two players on this list are a bit risker, given that they are young “project players,” if you will. The Golden Knights saw Jesse Puljujarvi in action Saturday in their loss to the Edmonton Oilers. The 24-year-old forward has been rumored to be leaving the organization for years now. But so far, nothing.

He has just three points in 18 games this season as the Oilers’ offense continues to be led by Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid. If the Oilers are looking for cap space, they could trade Puljujarvi’s $3 million cap hit to the division-rival Golden Knights to take a chance on him.

6) Kasperi Kapanen- W

Lastly, we have Kasperi Kapanen of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who has been a healthy scratch for the team. He signed a two-year extension in the offseason worth $3.2 million and is 26 years old.

The former first-round pick has not meshed well with his original draft team scoring just five points in 13 games and 32 in 79 games last season.

If the Golden Knights are looking for a cheaper project player, Kapanen could be on their radar.