With the NHL’s 2022 trade deadline taking place on March 21, 2022, fantasy managers should peruse their free-agent pool and look for players who would benefit from being traded at the deadline. It’s important to get ahead of the trades before they happen in fantasy rather than rushing to the waiver wire when it happens and risking losing the player to another team. Here are five players who should be rostered and stashed away in the hopes of being traded to a team that would increase their fantasy value.
#5. Max Domi – Center/ Right Wing/ Left Wing – 6% Rostered
Current team: Columbus Blue Jackets – 53 Games Played; 9 Goals; 23 Assists; 32 Points
The Columbus Blue Jackets forward is in the final year of a two-year pact and will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is doing a great job rebuilding the franchise and stockpiling assets, especially at the trade deadline. He has the opportunity to do the same if he moves Domi and adds more future assets to the organization, especially if he intends not to re-sign the forward for next season.
Domi is tri-position eligible in fantasy being able to play all three forward positions which is valuable in itself. If you play in multi-category leagues that count hits or penalty minutes, he holds even more value. If he can find his way to a contending team by the deadline, there is the possibility that playing with some better players can spark his offensive production. He had a career season during the 2018-19 season with the Montreal Canadiens when he tallied 28 goals and 44 assists for 72 points.
#4. Phil Kessel – Right Wing – 10% Rostered
Current team: Arizona Coyotes – 61 GP; 6 G; 31 A; 37 P
The bad news is Kessel, who is a premier sniper in this league, only has six goals through 60 games played this season. The good news is that he has remained effective by being able to produce assists and keep his point totals at a respectable number for a 34-year-old forward.
The two-time Stanley Cup champion comes with a plethora of playoff experience and any team in need of a scoring depth should be foaming at the mouth to add him. He is a pending unrestricted free agent and with the Arizona Coyotes looking to continue to add assets, he should be on the move to a contender in the coming days. If he is inserted into a contending team’s top-six forward group, his stock will see a significant boost.
#3. Conor Garland – Left Wing/ Right Wing – 35% Rostered
Current team: Vancouver Canucks – 58 GP; 14 G; 18 A; 32 P
Despite this being his first season in the Vancouver Canucks organization, the previous regime that acquired Garland in the offseason has changed. The team will need to make some big decisions in the offseason with Brock Boeser needing a new contract, and with limited cap space available, some players will need to be moved out.
Garland is a small winger who plays bigger than he looks. He is tenacious and skilled and can get into the right areas to be effective on the ice. The Canucks are still sniffing for a playoff spot putting GM Patrik Allvin in a tough spot as the trade deadline approaches. He would be a good player on a contending team and will likely slot into the second line but getting consistent minutes should allow him to flourish on a more talented team.
#2. Jake DeBrusk – Left Wing/Right Wing – 11% Rostered
Current team: Boston Bruins – 57 GP; 15 G; 11 A; 26 P
The 25-year-old forward has made it known he wants a move out of Boston in the hopes of getting more opportunity and a bigger role. The Bruins could potentially accommodate this request and be able to use him as a significant trade asset in a blockbuster.
DeBrusk saw time in the Bruins’ top-six at times this season but has been limited to third-line duties for most of his tenure. He has tallied 15 goals and 26 points in 57 games so far this season and if he is moved would be in line to see an increased role. The most likely scenario is that DeBrusk is moved to a team without playoff aspirations as he is a pending restricted free agent.
If he does go to a non-playoff team, he would likely see top-line minutes and also be given a chance to shine on the top power play as a go-to option. The increase in opportunity is what makes him one of the more intriguing waiver wire stashes if he does get moved this season.
#1. Jakob Chychrun – Left Defense/ Right Defense – 64% Rostered
Current team: Arizona Coyotes – 47 GP; 7 G; 14 A; 21 P
Perhaps the biggest and most highly touted name on the trade market right now is young defenseman Jakob Chychrun. He is tantalizing to many teams because of his ability to be a strong two-way defenseman and on a very team-friendly $4.6 million deal over the next three seasons. He would receive a massive boost from a trade anywhere and likely become a contending team’s second-best defenseman. Even if he is playing second fiddle to another blueliner, he would be in line for a significant bump in production considering the increase of talent around him.
There are still multiple teams interested, and although some may think this move is more suitable to be done in the offseason, teams giving up the type of assets Arizona is looking for will likely want his services for a playoff run. He is working his way back from a lower-body injury, so there is a chance that he was dropped in some of your leagues. This is the last call if he’s available and should be the number one fantasy stash considering the upside he has if he’s shipped out of the desert.
Roster percentages via Yahoo