The Philadelphia Flyers will be one of the hottest names in trade talks all offseason long, and the second domino fell earlier today with Kevin Hayes getting shipped to St. Louis. One name supposed to be included in that trade was defenseman Travis Sanheim, who remains a Flyer thanks to Blues defenseman Torey Krug’s no-trade clause eliminating all the ancillary parts of the proposed deal.
It remains clear, though, that Sanheim is a highly sought-after asset – he was expected to fetch Krug and a first-round pick from St. Louis (either 25th or 29th overall) in return. Teams are still calling on him, namely the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets, says The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta.
Sanheim, a former first-round pick (17th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft, is Philadelphia’s most competent all-around defenseman and has been for the past few seasons. His stock took a small hit in 2022-23, seeing his offense dip to 23 points in 81 games and his defensive play falter at times, and it certainly wasn’t the best timing with an eight-year, $50MM extension with trade protection set to kick in on July 1. It seems at least a few teams are attributing that to the team around him, though, and they believe the 27-year-old is still a high-end top-four defender.
Despite having many holes to fill among their forward group, the Maple Leafs seem to keep popping up in conversations surrounding marquee defenders on the trade market. While they were already linked to Erik Karlsson earlier today, acquiring Sanheim would be a more financially sensible and palatable move for their needs. Sanheim would slot behind Morgan Rielly on the team’s depth chart of left-shot defenders, likely kicking Jake McCabe over to the right side and keeping 39-year-old Mark Giordano in a bottom-pairing role. Toronto’s been reported to have their first-round pick, 28th overall, on the block for more immediate boosts to their lineup.
The Winnipeg Jets are scouring the trade market for talent, looking to retool on the fly and keep their team competitive despite the impending departures (via trade or buyout) of Blake Wheeler, Connor Hellebuyck, and Pierre-Luc Dubois. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of roster room for Sanheim with the Jets, so a potential trade could involve the final season of Brenden Dillon’s contract at a $3.9MM cap hit heading to the Flyers. The 32-year-old Jets defender does not carry trade protection.