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5 Trade Candidates Emerging Early in 2022-23 NHL Season

While it’s far too early for a number of big trades to go down in the NHL, there are some early candidates to watch more closely.

It’s likely way too early for teams to be pulling off trades that typically happen around the NHL Trade Deadline. At the same time, there are clubs getting off to weaker starts than expected and players getting hot out of the gate and getting noticed after just a few games. Understanding that these are players who likely aren’t going to be moved in the next few days, weeks, or even months, here are five names that are emerging as early trade candidates this season.

Kevin Shattenkirk

Most insiders will be watching what unfolds with John Klingberg in Anaheim, but it could be fellow defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk that moves first. The right-handed, offensive defenseman could be available at the deadline as he is a pending UFA.

Kevin Shattenkirk Ducks UD

As the Ducks struggle this year, many names will be tossed around the rumor mill and Shattenkirk is no stranger to moving around and playing on competitive teams. Now 33 years old, he could be open to joining a contender and being flexible on his 12-team no-trade list.

He’s still relatively productive. He just posted a season in which he played all 82 games and scored 35 points. At $3.9 million, he’ll be much easier trade than a $7 million Klingberg, and if Shattenkirk is producing, there will be teams who take a look.

Jack Johnson

The Chicago Blackhawks will be another team worth watching because the expectation is that a number of players will be leaving that organization before the season is complete. The big names are Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Max Domi, Andreas Athanasiou, and even Seth Jones. But, one player to keep an eye on is defenseman Jack Johnson.

A pending UFA, hs $950K cap hit will be attractive to teams that feel like they could use a bit of depth and playoff experience. He’s a recent Stanley Cup winner and can provide leadership, even if he’s not taking up a ton of minutes.

Johnson is off to a solid start with two assists in four contests. He’s second on the team in ice time, averaging over 20 minutes per game.

Nick Bonino

The San Jose Sharks are off to a rocky start with a 1-6-0 record to open the 2022-23 season. This is a team that wanted to be more competitive than it has been and continued struggles could lead to some players exiting the organization earlier than expected. Among them could be Nick Bonino.

Nick Bonino Sharks

Bonino is a pending UFA on a deal that carries a $2.05 million contract. While he’s yet to score this season, he had 16 goals and 26 points in 80 games last season. He could be a player that gets streaky and if he does, the Sharks might look to move him to a team looking for depth and willing to take on his contract. The Sharks are close to the cap and if a message needs to be sent, moving Bonino is one way to do it.

Jakob Chychrun

Any fan keeping an eye on the NHL trade market has heard Jakob Chycrhun’s name out there. The latest comes from Jeff Marek, who noted during Sportsnet’s 32 Thoughts Now segment that the trade price for the defenseman out of Arizona remains high. He believes the ask is the equivalent of two first-round picks (either in the form of picks or prospects).

Chychrun is a couple of weeks away from making his on-ice return and teams that are favorited to acquire him are the Ottawa Senators and Los Angeles Kings. It is being said that the Senators are backing away.

Ethan Bear

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman notes that the Carolina Hurricanes don’t feel the need to sell low on Ethan Bearm but they are looking at trade options. The NHL insider explained, “from what I’ve been told, the Hurricanes are telling other teams, ‘look, we don’t have a cap problem. We’re not keeping 50 percent of Bear’s salary if we’re not getting a good return or we’re getting a minimal return. We believe this is an NHL player.’”

He believes this deal could go down in the near future and right now, the struggling Vancouver Canucks are said to have shown the most interest.

Next: Already Suggestions of a Nick Robertson Trade in Toronto



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