Connor Hellebuyck

10 bold predictions for the 2023 NHL offseason

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With the 2022-23 season in the books, it is now time for some NHL offseason predictions 2023 edition.

10 NHL offseason predictions 2023

The first thing to look forward to this offseason is the 2023 NHL draft, which will take place June 28-29. After that, the action really picks up as NHL free agency begins just a few days later on July 1. Once the clock hits noon on the first of July, teams can begin talking to players from other teams, and we should hear about new deals shortly after.

There are plenty of big names who are free agents this summer, along with some talented players who are rumored to be available for trades this offseason. We are likely not going to see some of the biggest trades in NHL history, but there should be plenty of big moves throughout the offseason to keep fans busy until the start of the 2023-24 season.

Maple Leafs trade one of their top forwards

The Toronto Maple Leafs finally made it out of the first round for the first time since 2004. However, losing in five games to the Panthers after that proved they are still far away from winning a championship.

There is no doubt that Toronto has a talented roster, but some major changes need to be made after failing in the playoffs time and time again. I believe that in order to shake up this roster, Mitch Marner or William Nylander will have to be traded.


I think it would be shocking to many if Marner were to be dealt, especially with how big the return would have to be. Nylander on the other hand makes more sense and would be the obvious choice in an attempt to make a significant move this offseason.

Erik Karlsson finally gets dealt

Looking at possible NHL trade predictions this offseason, I believe this is the time Erik Karlsson gets traded.

It seems that both Karlsson and the San Jose Sharks agree that a trade is what is best and will push for a move this summer. Karlsson is coming off the best season of his career, scoring 101 points in the regular season. He has proven that he can still produce, and there are many playoff contenders who could use his talents.

A couple of teams to watch out for in a possible trade would be the Edmonton Oilers and Seattle Kraken.

Vladimir Tarasenko signs with an Eastern Conference contender

There are many possible NHL free agency landing spots for Vladimir Tarasenko as he becomes a free agent for the first time.


I believe it is very unlikely Tarasenko ends up back with the New York Rangers and instead will be playing for a different Eastern Conference contender by the start of next season. The 31-year-old winger is coming off of a down year in which he recorded only 50 points in 69 games split between the Blues and Rangers.

I think the two biggest favorites to land Tarasenko are the New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes. The Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils are two other teams I would watch out for as well.

Capitals trade Evgeny Kuznetsov

The Washington Capitals find themselves in a difficult situation. They are not Stanley Cup contenders, but also not one of the worst teams in the league.

With Alexander Ovechkin not getting any younger, the Capitals will try to do anything they can to remain competitive until he retires. One way to do that would be to move Evgeny Kuznetsov, who did not have a great year, for someone who fits better in the lineup.

I believe a trade would work for both parties involved, as Kuznetsov could benefit from a change of scenery in hopes of getting his career back on track.

Avalanche sign Patrick Kane

It was reported at the beginning of June that Patrick Kane underwent hip surgery and would be out for the next four-to-six months. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

I think the surgery, along with his age, makes the odds of Kane signing with the Rangers very slim.

I predict that Kane wants to go somewhere with an experienced roster that he can win a championship with next season. The Colorado Avalanche looks like the best choice for him and is a team I believe will pursue Kane this offseason.

Taylor Hall gets traded

The Boston Bruins are not going to have a fun offseason after the way their season ended this year.

After blowing a 3-1 series lead in the first round, the Bruins will now have to address their salary cap concerns. To clear some space, I predict Boston will move on from Taylor Hall.

Hall has two years remaining on a four-year $24 million contract and carries a cap hit of $6 million.

Ryan O’Reilly signs elsewhere

There are many bold NHL offseason predictions 2023 that can be made regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs. Another one is that Ryan O’Reilly will sign with a different team this offseason.

There will be many teams interested in signing O’Reilly, who can bring a lot to a playoff-contending team. The 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winner was traded to Toronto in February after four and a half seasons with the St. Louis Blues.

A team to watch for to sign O’Reilly would be the Colorado Avalanche. Also, keep an eye on a return to St. Louis.

Sabres or Penguins trade for Connor Hellebuyck

One of the boldest NHL trade predictions this offseason, I believe Connor Hellebuyck will be traded either to the Buffalo Sabres or Pittsburgh Penguins.

Hellebuyck is just a few years removed from his Vezina Trophy-winning season and will get a lot of interest from many teams if the Jets decide to move him this summer.

Buffalo continues to improve as they get closer to making the postseason for the first time since 2011, and Hellebuyck would be a perfect piece to help end the playoff drought next season. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, would love to add Hellebuyck to give the veteran core one last chance for playoff success.

Matt Dumba heads to the Eastern Conference

The seventh overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, Matt Dumba has spent his entire career thus far with the Minnesota Wild. It is likely that the 28-year-old defenseman will be playing for a new team next season.

There are many teams who could benefit from adding Dumba to their roster. The three teams that happen to make the most sense are all in the Eastern Conference. These teams are the Ottawa Senators, Washington Capitals, and Detroit Red Wings.

Ducks trade John Gibson

John Gibson recently requested a trade out of Anaheim as the team continues to rebuild. Gibson currently carries an annual cap hit of $6.4 million until the end of the 2026-27 season and has a 10-team no-trade clause.

A change would be beneficial to the soon-to-be 30-year-old, whose numbers have declined the last couple of years while playing for the last-place Ducks. It will be interesting to see what the current value is for the three-time All-Star, as interested teams will be hoping he bounces back after a couple of bad seasons on a bad team.

The teams most likely to land Gibson are the Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Los Angles Kings.

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