New names will enter the rumor mill daily within three weeks of the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline. The jaw-dropping potential of holding a top-five pick in the 2023 NHL Draft should only exacerbate this, with Connor Bedard, Adam Fantilli, Matvei Michkov, Leo Carlsson, and others making up one of the most talented groups of top prospects in league history. While they won’t admit it, it’s a phenomenon that incentivizes flawed teams to get worse. It explains a surprising new name on Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli’s newest Trade Targets board, released Saturday morning.
Arizona Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse signed a five-year extension before this season, but Seravalli says that hasn’t stopped his name from popping up in trade conversations. He clarifies that Crouse isn’t someone Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong is actively looking to offload but notes that given the team’s position, he isn’t putting the phone down on any interested trade party. The 2015 11th overall pick has come into his own over the past two seasons, recording 36 goals and 62 points in 112 games across the 2021-22 and 2022-23 campaigns while logging heavy minutes. Locked into an attractive $4.3MM cap hit for four more seasons, he’ll need to garner a strong return for Arizona to consider moving on.
More chatter from the post-All-Star break weekend:
- Another new name on Seravalli’s trade board is San Jose Sharks shutdown center Nick Bonino. In the final year of a two-season, $2.05MM average annual value pact, the 34-year-old Bonino can still provide value in a bottom-six role. He’s played both center and wing for San Jose this year, but is capable in the faceoff dot and brings Stanley Cup-winning experience. With nine goals and 17 points in 50 games and decent defensive play, he’s an ideal target for teams looking to shore up their fourth line. He could make sense for a team like the New York Rangers, who can now focus on improving their depth forwards after acquiring their big fish, Vladimir Tarasenko, earlier this week.
- In positive news for New Jersey Devils fans, team reporter Amanda Stein confirms that center Jack Hughes and defenseman Brendan Smith are with the team on their current road trip, taking them through the Midwest and northeast United States over the next week. It’s a somewhat expected tidbit about Hughes, who’s listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury sustained in the past few days. While a return to action during their four-game road trip seems unlikely, it’s a good sign that he’s well enough to stay with the team. Smith is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury as of Thursday.