Count Colorado Avalanche’s Matt Duchene as the most likely player to be traded in the offseason. TSN released its Trade Bait list Saturday with Duchene, Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk and Ottawa defenseman Dion Phaneuf leading the list of players who are likely to find themselves a new home for the 2017-18 season. A Duchene trade has been rumored since before the regular season ended and been talked about by most NHL teams so far. The Avalanche, who finished the regular season with the worst record in the league, feel this might be the best time to move the 26-year-old center after a disappointing season. He scored 18 goals and had 23 assists last year, a far cry from his 2015-16 season in which he tallied 30 goals and 29 assists in a breakout season. Much of the belief is that he lacks quality line mates around him and would thrive on a different team. While the Avalanche failed to move him before the draft, it is considered inevitable that a trade happens.
Galchenyuk is considered expendable after the Montreal Canadiens acquired Jonathan Drouin on June 15. Just like Duchene, Galchenyuk scored 17 goals in 61 games, a far cry from his 30-goal output in 2015-16. However, the Canadiens are looking to bolster their defense and feel the 23-year-old might be the best path to do that. The Minnesota Wild are often suggested as a good match for the Canadiens, but many teams wouldn’t mind getting the third-overall pick in 2013. Phaneuf, who refused to waive his no-movement clause before the expansion draft, therefore forcing the Senators to expose and lose Marc Methot (coincidentally #4 on the list), is still expected to be moved. The 32-year-old had a solid season and his trade value might be at its highest. However, the franchise will have to convince teams to accept the remaining four years on his contract at $7MM a season.
Of the 15 players on the list, the Vegas Golden Knights have three players (all defensemen) on the list, including Methot, Luca Sbisa (#8), and Alexei Emelin (#12). The Avalanche have two players on the list with Duchene at the top as well as defenseman Tyson Barrie (#7). The Minnesota Wild are the only other team with multiple players on the list with Marco Scandella (#5) and Mathew Dumba (#10), although it is believed that the Wild will likely just trade one of its young defenseman and keep the other. Scandella is the more likely of the two to get traded.
For a full list, you can find it here.